The dragger Viking, Capt. A. Coutinho of Vineyard Haven, sank alongside of the harbor bulkhead during Monday night.
An investigation followed when the Viking was raised yesterday and it was discovered that the waste pipe in the sink, which was brass, was joined together with an iron elbow next to the planking. The use of the two different metals caused electrolysis, and the consequent disintegration of the iron elbow which in turn caused the collapse of the pipe and seepage with the final result. It was determined repairs could be made without hauling out by shutting off the seacock, and replacing the elbow with one made of compatible metal.
Capt. Coutinho said that he left the vessel at 4 p.m. Monday and there was no water in the bilges. He further said that she was afloat at 9 p.m. and was apparently all right. At 7 next morning she was submerged.
The vessel had been extensively repaired and refitted and was nearly ready for sea.
The Viking was raised yesterday forenoon in an engineering operation that was quite sensational. Among a dozen men employed on and about the harbor bulkhead where the vessel had sunk, the principal figures were Joesph Leonardo Jr., a skin-diver, and Lester Baptist, operator of the Goodale Construction Company’s crane.
Mr. Leonardo went into the freezing water, working on the harbor bottom and around the sunken vessel, to place slings around the hull by which the craft was raised. This was an extremely particular job, as pressure and balance were vitally important, and the diver remained in the water, checking the action of the slings until the vessel was raised so that her hatch-coamings were above the surface.
Mr. Baptiste, operating the sixty-foot derrick, had to move his big crane with precision, gently applying the strain until the submerged hull had settled in the bights of the slings. So skillfully did the two operate, and such was the teamwork of the others of the crew, that the vessel rose from the black water without shifting an inch in the slings which held her.
Meantime the Gay Head Coast Guard was on the bulkhead, with a powerful pump in readiness to operate as soon as the hull had been lifted sufficiently, and promptly dropped their suction-hose into the main hatchway. Clearing the hull of water was accomplished in a short time after which the hull was to be examined in order to discover the leak.
Apart from the cost of labor involved in raising the vessel, making repairs, and overhauling her power plant, there is also a known loss of at least a thousand dollars, in her electrical equipment, fathometer radio and batteries, which were ruined by submersion.