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CSS Georgia Salvage Underway

July 28, 2015

To prevent being held captive by the Union Army during the 1800s, the crew of the Civil War ironclad CSS Georgia deliberately sunk the ship and it was resting beneath the Savannah River for hundreds of years.

An effort to raise the sunken wreckage from the seabed and recover its artifacts is currently ongoing. This is to make way for the proposed expansion project of the Savannah Harbor so that larger ships can use the port.

According to the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) of the US Navy, divers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6 were able to resurface one cannon last July 15, another cannon on July 21 and 128 cannon balls to date. On July 24th (Friday) the US Navy diving unit was able to recover the vessel’s propeller.

The collaboration between the salvage team and the US navy is necessary because of the sensitivity and risk of the explosive materials being recovered.

“To support a project of this magnitude, two barges are on site, one to serve as a diving and equipment platform and one to support artifact storage, sorting and transport. Our expertise allows us locate and safely recover artifacts and unexploded ordnance in such challenging conditions, “Rick Thiel (SUPSALV program manager) said.

The salvage team will be working on collecting artifacts until October.

The artifacts were made available onshore for public viewing at the Old Fort Jackson last Saturday in an event known as “Raise the Wreck”.

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