Guam Shipyard Salavge of “Big Blue” Behind Schedule


Guam – On January 5th, Guam Shipyard President Mathews Pothen expressed confidence that the problem of his partially sunken dry dock would be “resolved” before the month was out.

29 days later, it is not yet resolved. The dry dock, known as “Big Blue,” is still partially sunk.

“It will be resolved in the next 15 days,” Pothen said. [Click on the story below to hear Pothen’s statement in PNC’s January 5th report.]

But the salvage operation is not going as originally hoped.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. J.G. Wade Thompson told PNC News Thursday that the salvage operations are “in a consultation phase.” He called it a “complex engineering project,” saying “Guam Shipyard has outside consultants coming in to basically assess the situation so they can follow through with the salvage operations.”

Lt. Thompson said that the Coast Guard is “monitoring” the situation and being “kept abreast of developments but this is Guam Shipyard’s operation.”

The waste oil and diesel fuel aboard was all safely removed without a spill. Cranes then lifted some heavy equipment off the dry dock’s deck. But it remains mostly submerged.

Lt. Thompson declined to speculate on when or whether the dry dock would rise again.

A message was left for Pothen at the Guam Shipyard office, but he did not return our call.