Initial lift successful

Rockwater 2 to return to re-rig lift assembly

U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

Oct. 5, 2001

At 2:50 p.m. today, Rockwater 2 successfully repositioned Ehime Maru onto the forward lifting plate in preparation for the transit to the shallow-water recovery site.

Ehime Maru was lifted from the ocean floor nearly 10 feet, moved nearly 110 feet to the left and 16.5 feet forward, then lowered onto the plate.

Rockwater 2 will spend the next few days confirming that the plate is properly positioned under the hull in the vicinity of Ehime Maru’s pilothouse and connecting the plate to the lifting assembly. It will then disconnect the top half of the assembly from the bottom half and return to Honolulu Harbor for two to three days. While in port, it will re-rig the forward end of the top lifting frame from a single cable to a double cable lift configuration and then return to the deep-water recovery site as outlined in the earlier Oct. 5 media advisory.

Upon its return to the deep-water site, Rockwater 2 will re-connect the top frame to the bottom frame, which remained above Ehime Maru at the deep-water site. It will then lift and transport Ehime Maru the roughly 14 nautical miles to the shallow-water site -- contingent on favorable weather conditions -- for diving operations to commence.
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Revised 10/05/01 at 5:35 p.m. (HST)