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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Left) The SEAWITCH prior to refloating; (Right) The SEAWITCH after refloating
On Sunday September 14, 2008 Resolve successfully re-floated the remains of the C/V SEAWITCH. The refloating of the SEAWITCH was divided into two shifts. The day shift was responsible for starting the process and removing the bulk of the water from the wreck. The night shift took over from where the day shift left off and stripped the tanks of any remaining water.
(Left) The hull of the SEAWITCH is full of water before refloating begins; (Right) The vessels hull is emptied of water after the refloating process
During the day it took about 10 hours to empty the water from the holds and forward ballast tanks. The refloat plan was developed by a joint team effort between Resolve engineers and Glosten Associates. Our team of engineers included Roger Guerard, Kody Kurtz, and Todd Schauer. Glosten Associates was represented by Brad Lamkin. The Pump sequence was designed to minimize the stresses incurred within the hull during the refloat. The pumping was divided into two teams; the forward pump team led by Ray Fortin, the project’s salvage master, and the aft pump team led by Todd Schauer. The two teams were comprised of Peter Brause, Jeff Thompson, Ron Pushak, and Brad Jackson.
In addition to using pumps, Resolve also implemented chain pullers to stabilize the vessel during refloat. The chain pullers, one on each side of the vessel, were connected to chains that ran underneath the vessel. The purpose of the chains was to prevent the vessel from rolling during refloat. The chain pullers were operated by Mike Carista, Timothy Hartwick, Beau Hartwick, Ivan Perez, James Hartwick, and Tom Crawford. Each chain puller was assisted with a crane to help move the chain. Each crane was skillfully operated by Ken Bradford and Jeremy Pulliam. Other members of the crew were on site helping out where ever a helping hand was needed. Both the project manager, Mike Morris, and the Manager of the staging area, Sean McAleer, could be found helping the pump teams lifting pumps and securing lines. Leah Broadwater, the project