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CHICAGO (CBS) – Seven down, at least three more to go – crews were still pulling sunken, battered boats from the bottom of Monroe Harbor on Tuesday, after last week’s high winds and waves smashed them into a concrete lakefront wall.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, a crane was lifting the jagged fiberglass top half of a powerboat from the bottom of the harbor on Tuesday. The crane was attached to the boat by divers working in zero visibility.
Jack Manley, who runs Chicago Marine Towing & Salvage, said the divers must gingerly feel around underwater to find the wreckage still down there.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
Some of the wreckage has very sharp edges, making work difficult.
“It’s very hard, they have to wear Kevlar-lined gloves,” Manley said. Even then, they’re not totally protected.
“A sharp fiberglass spike will go right through the Kevlar,” Manley said. “There are always surprises, it’s what makes maritime salvage interesting.”
A small sailboat named the Gizmo, which was pulled from the bottom of the lake, rested on shore on Tuesday. It was still in one piece, but has definitely seen better days.
Two masts were still visible in the water, including that of a 38-foot sloop.
One of the workers on site on Tuesday said he had previously towed one of the boats found at the bottom of the lake.
In all, crews have removed seven boats from the water as of Tuesday, with at least three more still underwater.