Skookum Salvage

May , 2023

Global Diving & Salvage Successfully Salvage a Sunken Sailboat in Seattle, Washington.


Global Diving & Salvage (Global), was called in by the Department of Natural Resources to salvage a capsized 38′ steel hulled sailboat in the south end of Elliot Bay in Seattle, Washington. The vessel, victim to a storm with high winds and powerful waves, had capsized and settled on the ocean floor approximately 40’ below the surface.

Global’s marine casualty team, supported by a 62’ landing craft that was mobilized from Harbor Island to be used as a dive support & salvage vessel, responded to the job. Careful planning was needed to successfully execute this response due to several factors. The hull of the vessel was intact however the mast had separated from the Skookum. Consequently, prior to removal of the hull of the vessel, the crew removed the compromised mast in sections. This was completed so as to eliminate entanglement hazards to the diver and improve stability throughout the salvage operation.

Following removal of the mast, lifting bags were utilized to assist in the salvage. A diver installed the bags around the Skookum externally to provide buoyancy, while the landing craft’s deck crane was rigged to the vessel to maintain stability. This approach proved successful, and the vessel was brought to the surface, dewatered, then towed to a local facility where it was taken and secured in a storage facility.

While in storage, the vessel was cleared of remaining hydrocarbons, hazardous materials, and drug paraphernalia discovered onboard. Finally, the vessel was loaded onto a hydraulic transport trailer and delivered to a recycling facility for disposal. Throughout the salvage operation, Global Diving & Salvage maintained a steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship and was able to safely and efficiently salvage the vessel while mitigating any potential environmental risks.

You can read more about the project in Westside Seattle: Sunken sailboat finally raised by Global Diving and Salvage | Westside Seattle.