It hasn’t all gone smoothly, though. Officials said the first chain actually broke on Saturday after about 25 hours of use, and the operation was paused so the link could be repaired and its entire 400-foot length inspected for other potential issues. Quick, someone call Ron Popeil.
“The cutting process was carefully engineered and modeled, but it remains a highly complex operation. This is the first of seven cuts. During each cut we will continue fine-tuning our cutting parameters, including speed and tension of the chain, to improve its efficiency,” Deputy Incident Commander Tom Wiker from Gallagher Marine Systems said. “Though the cut is taking longer than expected, we’re gaining valuable knowledge that will guide the rest of this operation.”
After the cuts are made, each section will be lifted out by the VB-10000 and placed on barges to be shipped off for recycling. When the plan was first announced back in July, Hyundai Glovis said it would collect and scrap as many of the 4,200 cars as it could, so don’t get your hopes up for a sweet salvage ship deal. Considering they’ve all spent the last 13 months on their sides, most are underwater, and many of them are about to get shredded by a merciless uber-chain, these are tortured wrecks for whom death by junkyard would be a sweet, sweet relief.
This lidar image of one of the cargo decks was captured by investigators late last year. You can imagine things have gotten just a bit worse since then.
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