Navy divers continue search, recovery efforts in Minneapolis

By Senior Chief Petty Officer Dave Nagle | Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs | August 09, 2007

Navy divers continued efforts yesterday in support of search and recovery efforts at the site of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minn.

The divers of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 from Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., reentered the waters of the Mississippi River before 7 a.m. to continue a meticulous, hand-over-hand search of the area. 

The divers finished searching an area of more than 25,000 square feet, effectively completing 90 percent of the area they have been assigned to search. Divers also recovered four vehicles from the site. 

“The area we searched today included areas under the bridge platforms and I-beams which were so restrictive that divers had to remove their dive gear to crawl into ... areas as narrow as 12 inches,” said Cmdr. Dan Schultz, MDSU-2 commanding officer. 

MDSU-2 deployed to the scene at the request of the Department of Transportation and is supporting the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

All active-duty military assets on the scene are under the command and control of a Defense Coordinating Officer and Defense Coordinating Element assigned to United States Army North, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Army North provides Defense Support of Civil Authorities as the Army component of U.S. Northern Command, the unified command headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., that is responsible for homeland defense and civil support.

MDSU-2 is part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, a global force provider of adaptive force packages of expeditionary capabilities to joint warfighting commanders. NECC serves as a single manning functional command to centrally manage the current and future readiness, resources, manning, training and equipping of the Navy Expeditionary Force.

For more images of Navy participation in recovery operations in Minneapolis, please visit the U.S. Navy Web site.