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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You might also try using a welder to the hull to produce microscopic hydrogen bubbles in between the hull and the mud this will help break the suction effect of being stuck in the mud.
Reverse the cables of polarity. Good luck.
   The ammonium nitrate mixtures require a strong detonator, so one would need to get dynamite or make nitro-based explosives to detonate the mixture. To make these nitro-based explosives, nitric and sulfuric acids are needed. While these are common items of commerce, to obtain them through normal channels in drum quantities, would be problematic.
I think that's a great idea, I hope my boss agrees with the technique. I do not know to what extent did they try with the bulldozer or in which direction they were pulling. I am guessing they tried from the side.

Only thing is, there's zero vis and a strong current. I myself would not want to dive in there because of safety reasons (we currently only use scuba).

If we can tow it to shallow water we can work on it better.

another idea that I had is to attach pontoons on the side so it'll stay afloat.

thank you for the tips. will definitely use the advice.
Not sure about the Hydrogen Bubbles, last year at Caspian Kashagan project ENKA had to remove 20 meters long sheet piles, 12 meters beneath the mud. We tried the method + vibration hammers. didn't help.
As the ship has lost of free space inside it all will be full of mud so any effort to pull it out is headache. I know how difficult is to convince the authorities to sign PTW easiest way for divers full fill task, but try again or tell them F.....off, then they will be more respectfully dealing with your ideas. Do you think they can find the diving company that would agree to do salvage in the jungle for $30 000 ?????
That's another great idea I haven't thought of Ace.

One question though, has it been tried and done successfully before?
The microscopic hydrogen bubbles will not break the mud or suction.
Another method besides air lances is high pressure water jet to slurry the mud and change its density to about same as water . but the river current and air lances will do the trick
Like I said before the best and fastest is Tug Boat Prop wash.
Let the river do the work for you.
Yes it has been tried with success before. I personally have not used it however I read of a salvage somewhat like yours and it was a kind if a last ditch effort. The bubbles created a seperation between the mud and the hull. I wish I could rember more as I think they had to hook up several welding machines and for a 24 hr plus duration to gain the results they needed. Good luck.
would it be possible to let the hydrogen build up for a few days and remotely apply a spark that should loosen it a bit
What a clever approach using hydrogen bubbles and a spark-oh boy! I love being a diver.
On the hydrogen bubbles approach think of putting a burning torch in a bucket of salt water when you want to determine the welding machines polarity it produces bubbles thats what I am talking about here.
Between Freds approach of lances and a tug and using existing river currents and also if you were able to actually get inside if the vessel and put a lance thru a thru hull fitting or two using both water and air it could also assist in making a mud slurry under it. Lots of clever ideas here.
I think the prop wash method is secondary, because we haven't found out the depth.

If were pulling the wreck forward with the direction of the current, would the prop wash work against the current?
Could there be mud in the boat? If you could jet and airlift mud out it would cut weight down. Maybe if you could find a bunch of truck inner tubes you could get some cheap lift.
weight is not really the issue, and I am trying to minimize dives because of the vis and super strong currents.
Anyone here willing to stay in a jungle, and dive in these waters for USD15 a day are welcome, oh and were using scuba.

as for a bunch of truck inner tubes, it will work with a small dinghy or sailboat.

were talking 150 tons here man.

I already have pontoons, which are actually 1100 gallon PVC water tanks.


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