U.S. Navy Efforts Aid in Baltimore Channel Reopening

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Navy Seabees training on bridging operations.
Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean P. Rinner

June 21, 2024 | Originally published by Naval Sea Systems Command on June 12, 2024

BALTIMORE — The U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) led critical efforts in support of the Unified Command in clearing the Port of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry Federal Channel, following the M/V Dali’s collision into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

“In the aftermath of the tragic accident and profound sadness experienced by the City of Baltimore and indeed the nation, I am proud of the extraordinary work and professionalism displayed by our Sailors and civilians, under the supervision of Capt. Sal Suarez, in support of the Key Bridge Response Unified Command,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “Our Navy and Marine Corps Team remains critical to defending our economic security, including the crucial efforts of our Navy’s diving and salvage experts to keep our waterways open.”

SUPSALV arrived within hours after tasking by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to support the Unified Command by leading the clearing of the Baltimore Harbor waterway. The team, along with several private maritime salvage companies, mobilized resources to the site and worked to remove debris, support truss cuts, rigging, and bridge sections. Their efforts also included controlled explosions that allowed the Dali to be refloated and moved back to port.

“SUPSALV expertise is recognized throughout the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies,” said Capt. Sal Suarez, commander, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving. SUPSALV provides technical, operational, and emergency support in marine salvage, towing, pollution control and abatement, diving and diving system safety and certification, diving and salvage equipment procurement, and underwater ship husbandry. Its expertise in marine salvage has been leveraged globally removing a sunken dredge barge in Alexandroupoli, Greece, in 2019, and recently clearing Louisiana waterways impacted by Hurricane Ida in 2021.

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