Tractor Recovery – High Altitude Lake

Ballard Marine Construction received an emergency request to recover a tractor that had fallen into a high altitude lake.

Commercial Divers were on site within hours and placed an initial marker buoy to the tractor during initial survey in addition to containment boom.  The Case 580M Tractor was on a steep incline and had slid an additional depth 75′ after the marker was placed.  The depth, combined with altitude of the lake placed this project into the 110′ dive table.  This depth requires additional personnel and a re-compression chamber as a precaution for any injuries.  With the submerged tractor sitting at 92′ depth, a 3/4″ safety wire utilizing a snatch block connected to a front end loader on the beach was first installed to protect divers from any further movement of the tractor.    The submerged tractor was 135′ from the proposed position of the crane on site.  In consultation with the owners representative Ballard utilized four 6000 lb. lift bags to move the tractor closer to inshore to within the cranes acceptable load chart.

Prior to the crane lift, a final safety meeting was performed followed by the underwater rigging of the tractor and the lifting of the tractor back onto its trailer.

Both Ballard pollution response team and owner provided response teams were on hand for any possible pollution release.  Only a slight sheen was spotted during the operation and was quickly mitigated.  The project was completed safety and quickly.