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From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

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Old 09-10-2004, 02:59 PM
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Default From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

Salvage team member: It shot to the surface 'like a missile'

By Joyce L. Miller/Lake Sun

LAKE OF THE OZARKS - A 32-foot DV Black Thunder that sat mired in mud and tangled in trees for more than two weeks after sinking near the 21-mile marker shot to the surface of the lake "like a missile" when divers released it from its resting place in 75 feet of water earlier this week, according to one of the divers who worked on the operation.

"When everything is in place and the airbags are doing their job, when the boat breaches the water, the front half literally shoots up," said diver Tim McNitt, who teamed up with Bob Heida to recover the boat. "And, that is what you want to see. We always hope we get it right the first time."

McNitt and Heida have been planning this particular recovery since Aug. 28 when the boat first went down. Not every recovery goes as smoothly as this one, which took about eight hours from start to finish.

"We have to get the boat up to the surface to tow it to shallow water where we increase the number of air bags on it to finish bringing it up," McNitt said. "Once we do that and get it into shallow water we level it off. I think the owner of the boat was skeptical that we really had found it and brought it up until I described a hat that I had taken out of the glove box."

Using sonar, a Global Positioning System, markers and years of experience, Heida and McNitt found the boat on Wednesday using measurements they took the first time they located the boat. Divers use everything from landmarks to oil slicks and trade secrets to hunt down their target.

In this case, McNitt said he came back up from his first dive into about 70-feet of water without a sighting.

After adjusting their position, Heida and McNitt were able to get a firm location on the boat and begin the process of digging it out and placing large airbags in strategic positions."

When the bags are full the buoyancy pushes the boat to the surface, McNitt said. The bow comes straight up on a good recovery, he said.

McNitt said there is no exact science to raising a boat. A lot of it is instinct and experience. Factors such as weight and size also play a role as do the conditions on the lake bottom.

At a depth of 75 feet, McNitt said they were working with a visibility of about two feet. The stern of the boat had settled into the mud and slid with the bow being supported by a cluster of dead trees.

Setting the bags and getting the boat ready to bring up and takes at least two people. One in the water and the other on top handling the mechanical end of the operation.

"Between the two of us, we have a combined total of 55 years experience diving, raising boats and doing salvage operations," McNitt said. "We are competitors but also team up on a regular basis to get jobs done. I consider Heida a master at sonar and he can repair anything. It's like going to school every time I work with him."

McNitt describes himself and Heida as modern day "scavengers" who like the challenge of finding lost treasure, whether it is a boat, a pair of glasses or a high performance racing engine in the murky waters of Lake of the Ozarks, and returning the finds to their rightful owners.
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

cool. i started diving this year and hope to go on to recovery diving. any pics?
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

I wonder what the price tag on that
operation was ????
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

I bet that water was SERIOUSLY cold.
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Old 09-10-2004, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

Cool story,when they use the word Salvage $$$$$.Hope he had insurance.
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Old 09-10-2004, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

If these guys want to go find sunglasses they should go into party cove!!!!! i have atleast 3 pairs down there!!! and who knows how many countless others are at the bottom!! I once went down there and came back up with a white plastic lawn chair!!!!!!
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Old 09-10-2004, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

What happened to the boat that it sunk?
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Old 09-10-2004, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

I go to devils cove every winter on a anchor dive. We use air bags to bring them up. found all sorts off stuff.

If you wear proper gear, its not that bad. in the winter, the water in lake travis is in the 50's. I wear a 7mil wetsuit, with hood and i am not warm, yet i am comfortable.

Any cooler than that and you need a drysuit. you dont even get wet.

Diving is tons of fun and addictive as hell.
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Old 09-10-2004, 04:56 PM
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Unhappy Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally
If these guys want to go find sunglasses they should go into party cove!!!!! i have atleast 3 pairs down there!!! and who knows how many countless others are at the bottom!! I once went down there and came back up with a white plastic lawn chair!!!!!!
Wally,
It already is BIG business down there!! I heard that a guy that used to go and dive on sundays just for fun has turn it into a salvage company plus has now hired two or three other guys to dive in PC during the night, before everything get silted over, I guess he says that it's dark down there anyway so it makes no difference if it's day or night to them. The main thing is that during the day the boats turn up so much of the mud that it's better to get there before it all (mud) settles down. I've heard he has more Beads, Glasses, adult toy's, anchors, etc. than he can ever sell!!!

and to think I have a REAL job!!!
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Old 09-10-2004, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: From 75 feet down, dive team rescues boat (boat sunk at shootout)

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrikinLightnin
What happened to the boat that it sunk?
I heard rotted transom.

I also heard a small explosion ( fuel vapors)
knocked the transom out.

Last edited by jt29olhp500s; 09-10-2004 at 05:04 PM.
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