EMSWORTH (KDKA) – A barge filled with gravel remains underwater near the Emsworth Lock and Dam.

The barge sank Wednesday and crews had to cut it loose in order to keep the others afloat.

Shortly after sunrise on Thursday, vessels from River Salvage Incorporated stationed themselves one mile downstream from the dam on the Ohio River.

Their job was to recover the barge that was cut loose when the massive barge began to take on water.

There is nothing easy about the operation. First, river traffic had to be closed shore to shore in the area of the recovery. Next, they had to try to find exactly where the barge is and somehow maneuver a scoop over top of it to remove as much cargo as possible.

The cargo is being removed one scoop at a time and is being placed on a floating barge nearby. Once that process is complete, they have to get the sunken barge out of the river.

One method that could be employed is to pump water out of the sunken barge by blasting compressed air from the surface.

At that point a massive marine crane could be used to lift the sunken barge to the surface..

They are hoping to complete the recovery effort by Thursday afternoon.


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