Salvaging the unsalvageable

Now that’s how you salvage an “unsalvageable” wreck! This picture, taken by amateur photographer and marine salvage worker Glenn Kasner, shows the moment two and a half tons of explosives ignited. The Margaret, a 300-foot “barge ship” carrying two dry docks and twelve river barges, ran aground six months ago in Jacobs Bay, 120km north of Cape Town, South Africa. The owners were unable to salvage the vessel, so, as Kasner explains:

It was eventually decided that the best method would be to release as many of the barges as possible by toppling the stack by means of controlled explosions. A naval architect – assisted by an explosives expert – carefully calculated exactly the quantity of explosives required and where these ‘shaped charges’ should be placed in order to achieve the desired effect.

The operation succeeded–six of the barges were released and towed to the nearby port of Saldanha. As to the nearby houses–“not a single window pane,” according to Kasner, “was broken during the operation.” Kudos to the team and many thanks publishing these amazing images! For more, see this Daily Mail article.


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