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Salvors Start Removal of Stranded Barge in Packery Channel

Barge aground on a jetty
The barge shortly after the grounding, Sept. 2022 (Image courtesy USCG)

Published Feb 19, 2023 10:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

Salvors have embarked on the task to remove a sunken construction barge that has been stranded near the Packery Channel jetty on Corpus Christi's Padre Island since September.

The City of Corpus Christi announced that salvage contractor Resolve Marine will begin recovery and disposal of the partially sunken barge, which went adrift and ran aground after being struck by strong currents during Hurricane Ian last September. 

The barge was used on the Packery Channel Restoration project by Callan Marine Ltd. and is owned by their subcontractor, Peninsula Marine. The barge was loaded with rock when it went aground, and there were no injuries, environmental impacts or damage to the channel.  

According to the City of Corpus Christi, the recovery operation will affect access for pedestrians, boaters and surfers. The salvage work is expected to take up to three weeks, although the weather will play a large part in how quickly the project is completed. High winds, waves and rain may slow the removal process.    

“Beachgoers can expect to see the contractor mobilizing on the beach. It is anticipated that the protective fencing installation and the beach closure will begin on Monday, February 20,” said the City in a statement.

The barge shortly after the grounding, Sept. 2022 (Image courtesy USCG)

Callan Marine and Resolve Marine have worked with the US Coast Guard to plan for the recovery and disposal of the barge, which will require removing the barge from the water, dismantling it and transporting the wreck to a nearby scrap facility.

The man-made Packery Channel is a tidal channel connecting Corpus Christi Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The city is currently investing $15 million in maintenance work on the channel, including erosion control measures, bollards, storm drains, handrails and other damaged structures.