From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communications
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced July 23, the U.S. Navy's Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) is providing vital salvage assistance to recover historical artifacts from the wreckage of the Civil War-era CSS Georgia in Savannah, Georgia harbor.
A proposed channel modification for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will impact the ship's wreckage and prompted a request from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for recovery assistance.
"In addition to our personnel, we have unique equipment capabilities through our East Coast salvage contractor, Donjon Marine, and access to highly trained divers from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two." said Rick Thiel, SUPSALV program manager. "To support a project of this magnitude, two barges are on site, one to serve as a diving and equipment platform and one to support artifact storage, sorting and transport. Our expertise allows us locate and safely recover artifacts and unexploded ordnance in such challenging conditions."
To date, divers have successfully located and recovered 128 pieces of unexploded ordnance at the wreckage site. The team is currently concentrating on recovering the four cannons surveys have shown to be at the site. The first cannon was raised July 15 and the second cannon was retrieved on July 21. Once all are brought to shore, technicians will support field inerting of the unexploded ordnance.
The SUPSALV team will be on site through October continuing to collect artifacts. Sections of the hull, armor, elements of steam machinery and ordnance are the major surviving pieces of the ship.
SUPSALV is responsible for Navy ocean engineering, including salvage, in-water ship repair, towing, diving safety and equipment maintenance and procurement.