U.S. Navy Dive Teams Still Clean Up Hurricane Ida Wreckage
A month after Hurricane Ida hit, rescuers are still working to remove sunken and stranded ships from Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana.
After the hurricane passed, the Coast Guard and the US Army Corps of Engineers identified at least 25 vessels requiring rescue intervention. The US Navy’s Dive and Recovery Supervisor (SUPSALV) was responsible for clearing these damaged vessels and returning the waterway to its normal operating condition.
Bayou LaFourche is still closed between the town of Lockport and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Larose. According to the Houma Maritime Security Unit, there are numerous damaged ships and ongoing demining operations in the area. Bayou Lafourche is once again open between Larose and the Gulf of Mexico, although mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution due to active diving and rescue operations on the waterway. Vessels are advised to coordinate with dive teams via VHF to organize a safe passage.
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SUPSALV has been tasked with taking the lead in the recovery of the vessels and the work is in progress.
“If possible, we will return the vessels to their owners, if they are safe,” said Lt. Neil Tublin, head of a SUPSALV dive team in Leeville. “Otherwise, we’ll take them to a drop-off site and dispose of them.” . . . If the [wrecks] are left, they would be a danger to navigation and other vessels will not be able to move on fishing, shrimp, or doing the other jobs that they have here that are pretty essential to the lifeline of this area. “
The seaport at the entrance to the bayou, Port Fourchon, resumed operations just nine days after the storm. However, while he has made rapid progress and all of his waterways are open, he has not yet fully recovered. Utility company Entergy is still working on restoring power to the port, but problems with transmission lines are causing delays. Convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants are still closed, although commercial fuel can be purchased from several marine suppliers. Water, cell service and emergency services have all been restored, and tenant clearance operations are underway.