A specialized rigging plan and purpose-built handling fixture was developed to safely salvage each artifact. The pieces are 35-50 feet deep, relatively shallow for a Navy diver, but some are half-buried in the muddy riverbed. That means that the "bottom work" will require underwater jetting, vacuum and pumping systems.
But the work serves more than a historic purpose. The wreckage is on the edge of a busy shipping channel that local officials want to expand.
Divers will also contend with strong currents and debris. Navy Meteorology and Oceanography will identify periods of slack water to maximize efficiency and safety.