Dive and salvage teams worked to remove debris used as anchor blocks by environmental activists protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling aboard a barge in Seattle’s Alki Seacrest Park on May 19.
A dive team from Global Diving & Salvage, Inc., along with divers from Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) Seattle, collaborated to remove several concrete blocks and thick steel mooring cables that held barge Solar Pioneer in place as the activists protested Shell’s Polar Pioneer arctic drilling rig then housed at Seattle’s Harbor Island Terminal 5.
When dropping the debris for mooring, the environmental group inadvertently damaged underwater dive park Alki Cove 2. Further damage to the marine environment as well as the endangerment of recreational divers ensued as the barge rose and fell with the tides, causing the steel mooring cables to sweep the area underneath, GUE explained.
Teams working off DSV Prudhoe Bay performed the cleanup on June 15, recovering and disposing of all concrete blocks and steel cables used at the site.
Teams of GUE Seattle SCUBA divers entered the water to locate the debris field, attaching mooring lines and buoys so commercial salvors could easily locate and remove the debris.
Global Diving & Salvage’s commercial dive team deployed surface-supplied divers into the water and removed all debris without causing any further damage to the dive park.
Financial contributors to the site’s cleanup and future restoration include Royal Dutch Shell, Foss Maritime and John Sellers (the operator of the Solar Pioneer).