Posted April. 09, 2010 05:14,
The Navy yesterday told a news briefing that its divers will complete linking chains to the shattered hull of the naval vessel Cheonan "in four to five days."
A private company in charge of lifting the bow started linking two 90 millimeter-thick iron ropes to the hull from 10:30 a.m. A combined four chains will be linked to the vessel. Once the linking work is done, the hull will be lifted by crane onto a barge to search for the missing crew before being moved to the 2nd Naval Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. Salvage work is slower under the deeper water where the ship`s stern sank.
High waves and unfavorable weather in waters off Korea`s west coast yesterday stalled operation to raise the sunken naval vessel Cheonan.
A Navy official said that despite diver preparation for lifting the 1,200-ton corvette, the operation was canceled because of strong winds and tough waves.
Winds were blowing at nine to 13 meters a second in waters off Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, with wave ranging between 1.5 to 2.5 meters in height.
A private maritime salvage company tasked with the lift said its divers were evacuated to nearby Daecheong Island around 3:40 p.m. after removing four anchors from under the water. Two other salvage companies said they plan an evacuation after watching the situation a while longer.
The Defense Ministry also said U.S., British, Australian and Swedish experts will participate in a government-civilian joint investigation panel as advisers to determine the cause of the sinking.