Tugboat Rises From Davy Jones' Locker Off Oakland

Posted: November 5, 2013  |  By: Justin Berton [The San Francisco Chronicle]

It was hardly as dramatic as a raising of the Titanic, but when the nose end of the Captain Al, a 105-foot rust bucket of a tugboat, poked above the surface of the Oakland Estuary for the first time in more than 15 years Monday, a few men ashore got lumps in their throats.

"I'm pretty excited right now," said Will Duncan, the on-scene coordinator with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, as cranes slowly lifted the tug. "It's been a mystery to us since March," when the Captain Al showed up on 3-D mapping of the estuary floor.

The vessel was among the first to be raised in a two-month effort to clear the estuary of more than 40 abandoned crafts, many of which have become nautical obstacles and pollutant-oozing sea coffins.

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