Hey all,

I am working for a salvage company in Malaysia, and were currently on a project to remove a wreck in deep in the Borneo jungles. Doesn't pay much but I am determined to do the job well, Attached are some photos of the wreck.

As you can see, there is absolute zero viz down there. and currents can be really strong.
I have tried inspecting the wrecks using standard scuba gear but I cannot go deeper than 3 meters.  Probably with a KMB, more weights, and a shotline I could get to the bottom.

To make matters worse, these ships have been there for so long that the officials have lost all records of the vessel. So we do not know how the ship looks like underwater, and we cannot see it for ourselves either. Also, I do not know the depth, but I will soon.

I am inspecting the wreck again soon and I will be prepared this time.

The reason I wrote this is to find out if anyone else have done salvaging like this, or have any ideas to remove this wreck with a budget of only 30,000 USD.

My best bet is to secure the bow (above water) with either a pontoon or seal it completely.
I plan to use sonar imaging to find out what its like down there, but would it work in zero viz with strong currents?
Once the front is secured, we either plan to refloat the stern or pull it out using a tug boat. It all depends on the state of the vessel underwater.
My team and I also plan to use an airlift to remove whatever silt around the bottom that is causing it to be stuck.

It is relatively close to the riverbank, but previous efforts by other companies to pull it out using a crane barely moved it.

So this is a near impossible task for a small budget company like mine, but again I just gotta do this somehow.

So is there anyone out there with a brilliant idea to get rid of this wreck?

These are my best estimates : Length: 34m, Weight: <150 tons, Depth: 10m

any advice appreciated.

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Hi Jon
The budget is really small for that project mate. If you would try to cut the part that sticks out from the mud would make easier to pull that out. Use explosives if available. That is what we did in Georgia in river. A mud pumping station sank in the river visibility was 000000 so we managed to put explosives around right at the bottom. To the part of the station that was out of the mud we tied it to bulldozers. When explosives went off the bulldozers pulled the ripped off part on shore. another part is still in the mud and causes no problem.
If no explosive available, get nitrogen fertilizer 10 bags of 50kg each quite enough, some gasoline / kerosene, plastic bags to keep the contest dry underwater and someone who knows how to prepare. assure you that will work and the cheapest.
Hey Koba,

Yes, explosives would make this job so much easier. and ease all my sleepless nights.

I forgot to add that we have tried countless times for a permit to use explosives, sadly there's so much bureaucratic red tape s*** that its impossible.

If there is a more discreet way to use it then I will probably try it.
As it seems from the picture the wreck is not 100 meters long, can be no more than 40. One thing you can try is to get high tension wire ropes, start pulling either by tag boats or powerful trucks, try pulling it different directions, and maybe mud will shake and give the way to the sank part. It should come off the mud.
Good luck mate.
Oh oops! I meant 100ft! yes at best its 34meters! Can't believe I made a rookie mistake like that.

Will edit that out.
Yes that was the plan, the authorities have tried using D7 Caterpillar bulldozers to pull it out but that didn't work.

we plan to try it again with more force using a tug, after using an airlift at the bottom to dredge to mud.

Thanks for the advice mate! Appreciate it.
Nice and go ahead. Get the right angle of pulling and it will come off the mud. Just do everything safely.
it is the same size as on the picture. We recovered it from 35 meter depth.
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check that drawing, trick of pulling more effective. might hep.
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Thanks for that. Need as much of these tips as possible.
Keep them coming!

Glad to know you survived WCCDS!
Here is what I have done in past on same type wreck.
#1. bull dozers have more pulling power then tug.
#2. Air lift is waste of time.
#3. Pump air under vessel with air pipes this will help break mud suction.

Tie tug to vessel then run at full power for 24 hours, the prop wash will wash away the mud and expose vessel.
This takes HP horsepower tug with draft so wash cavatates around vessel hull.
Cut vessel in two and take out in two sections.
How do you make a little money in the salvage business ? you start with a lot.
Fred, I was just wondering why airlifting is a waste of time?

and it would help alot if you can explain the methods of using air pipes to break suction.
make up air lance that will be long enough to reach the bottom of the vessel down in the mud. the lances should be 3/4 to 1 inch pipe with a bend to fit curve of vessel hull. they must be hooked up to high vol. compressors.
The strong water current will carry the mud downstream of vessel and help expose the hull . start on upstream side and mud will scour out hull then it will start flowing under vessel and help scour out downstream side.
Seal openings in deck and pump air into hull . if you have pontoons they will need to be attached with chain and cable will be cut by hull.
Good luck

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