Cranes Aid in Large Marine Salvage Endeavors

The river cruise ship “Eastern Star” sunk in the Yangtze River in China recently. It was a tragedy involving the sudden loss of hundreds of people. The shallow-draft boat overturned in what Chinese weather authorities have called a cyclone with winds up to 80 miles per hour.

What happens when a ship sinks? Sometimes they stay at the bottom of the body of water they’re in. Other times they need to be pulled up and out of the water, which is a complicated task as you might imagine.

Marine salvage is the process of recovering a ship to repair it or clear a channel for navigation. It typically involves divers, floating dry docks, and cranes. Tugboats may be used to pull the ship elsewhere as needed.

In the case of the “Eastern Star,” divers had to go underneath the ship, put bars down there, and then a crane crew used two 500-ton cranes to lift the giant 251-foot, multi-decked vessel. Meanwhile, two smaller cranes were utilized as well.

The capsize of the Eastern Star is China’s deadliest boat disaster in seven decades. Survivors included the ship’s captain and chief engineer, both of whom have been taken into police custody.

When ships sink and there’s a loss of life, friends and relatives go through a painful grieving process. Sometimes being able to see and/or visit the salvaged ship can help put their minds at ease as they feel a sense of closure.

As for cranes being involved in pulling up ships and other heavy objects, in New England the Astro Crane Company rents hydraulic cranes ranging from 6 to 600 tons. Call 1-800-696-2787 with any questions you might have.