M/V Cougar Ace – Marine Salvage Through A Geek’s Glasses

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February 27, 2008

M/V Cougar Ace - Listing Ship

Editor’s Note: Looking for information on the Baltic Ace tragedy? Catch gCaptain’s full coverage HERE or read, Are RoRo’s Safe?, for more information on RoRo safety.

Wired Magazine is featuring a post on the salvage of the car carrier Cougar Ace. Here are the first two paragraphs of the post:

Latitude 48° 14 North. Longitude 174° 26 West.

Almost midnight on the North Pacific, about 230 miles south of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. A heavy fog blankets the sea. There’s nothing but the wind spinning eddies through the mist.

Out of the darkness, a rumble grows. The water begins to vibrate. Suddenly, the prow of a massive ship splits the fog. Its steel hull rises seven stories above the water and stretches two football fields back into the night. A 15,683-horsepower engine roars through the holds, pushing 55,328 tons of steel. Crisp white capital letters — COUGAR ACE — spell the ship’s name above the ocean froth. A deep-sea car transport, its 14 decks are packed with 4,703 new Mazdas bound for North America. Estimated cargo value: $103 million.

The post, titled, “Techno-Cowboys of the Deep Sea: The Race to Save the Cougar Ace,” chronicles the mustering of a salvage crew from across the globe, the challenge of the salvage, and the death of a team member. The article is replete with Coast Guard footage and diagrams. Reading like a Spike Walker book, this piece gives the non mariner a unique look into the forces that makes our work elusive.

Don’t miss this compelling read by Joshua Davis and stunning infographics from Dan Foley.

The full Wired Magazine post:


This post was written by Richard Rodriguez, Rescue Tug Captain, and US Coast Guard approved instructor for License Training. You can read more of his articles at the BitterEnd

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