The U.S. Navy patrol boat that struck the Charleston Harbor south jetty in the dark Saturday has been raised, recovered and returned to shore.
Navy divers from the Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit, plus contracted salvagers, successfully moved the boat to the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Tradd Street.
The boat, from Coastal Riverine Squadron 10, a Navy Reserve unit based in Jacksonville, Fla., was conducting a routine training mission when it ran aground at 9:41 p.m. Six people on board were injured.
The 34-foot patrol boat was brought up from approximately 20 feet of water and towed to shore.
“Salvage operations like this are quite common. We train to respond to all types of incidents, from planes going down to boats sinking, and each one brings up its own unique challenges,” Chief Warrant Officer John Sullivan, operations officer-in-charge of the salvage operation, said afterward.
Divers installed lift points, placed belly bands on the submerged vessel prior to rigging for lift, and attached salvage lift bags capable of lifting 22,000 pounds. Once secured, the vessel was carefully brought to the surface Thursday morning by the lift bags.
The City of Charleston’s fire boat was also damaged Saturday trying to reach the stricken Navy vessel. It struck a harbor buoy, leaving a significant gash in the side.