M/V Tiffany Salvage

The M/V Tiffany was a half-sunken vessel leaking petroleum products into the Columbia River, adjacent to Lord Island on the Oregon side of the river.  Ballard provided a dive team to inspect the GPS coordinates, provided by the client, to locate and recover a sunken vessel in ten to twenty feet of water.

Scope of Work
Ballard received an emergency call in the middle of the night to meet at the site. Upon arriving and assessing the scene, Ballard deployed an absorbent boom to contain the leak. It was apparent that refloating the vessel was needed to take place to properly remove all petroleum products. Working closely with the United States Coast Guard to address the issue, Ballard had a 125-ton crane barge, tugboat, 10,000 gallons of storage tanks, heavy rigging, pumping equipment, and all diving equipment required to perform this work on-site within a thirty-six-hour window. Ballard then conducted a crane-assisted pick, while also pumping out the cargo holds to have the M/V Tiffany start floating once again. Once the vessel was floating, Ballard started removing all the debris that inhibited the team from safely gaining access to the cargo holds and hatches, with removing an estimated 15,000 pounds of rubble, which also allowed the vessel to float an additional three feet.

Innovative Solutions
Ballard performed salvage operations while yielding the proper procedures to dispose of petroleum products and debris. Ballard successfully removed 30,000 pounds of scrap steel and debris and pumped 10,000 gallons of petroleum protect into 300-gallon tanks for disposal. This job involved critical teamwork and coordination to meet the quality expectations of the client and owner. The project was completed on-budget before the scheduled completion.

Upon returning to port, Ballard then began properly disposing of all petroleum products and debris. All work was completed under the original budget approved by the USCG, along with zero lost-time injuries.

Client: U.S. Coast Guard
Location: Rainier, OR


• Environmental containment of the vessel
• Debris removal
• Oil and fuel removal (underwater, lightering)
• Coordination of 45 Ballard employees and various subcontractors
• Sediment sampling (grab and vibracoring)
• Dredging and capping