Working Into the Night to Tow Sunken Capital Oyster Bar River Boat


By Heather VacLav

You may have seen it on the Alabama River, or while eating at Montgomery's Capitol Oyster Bar, a sunken Riverboat.

But now, after 14 months resting on it's side, it's finally being removed from the river. 

Crews from Seamon Wrecker Services of Prattville started working first thing in the morning, and by 6:00 about half of the river boat has been towed over the bank.

There is still a lot of work to be done, and Seamon says it's workers will continue until 100% of the boat is on the ground, even if it takes working well into the night.

The half submerged river boat has been an eye sore on the Alabama River since it sank in April of last year.
"The biggest problem is going to be with all the mud in the bottom of it, the boat itself is about 60,000 pounds, and then we have the mud on top of that, and probably add another 20,000 pounds to it," said Bubba Seamon, owner of Seamon Wrecker Services.
Seamon Wrecker Service partnered with the city of Montgomery to tow the Capitol Oyster Bar Riverboat, volunteering about $30,000 worth of free work to pull it out. 
And it's been a long time coming, but the city didn't want to remove the boat until it was used as a training site. IThe safety training session was held last month after being postponed in December due to poor weather and unsafe water levels.
"We constructed an exercise that involved our first responders from the fire department and police department, dive team, bomb squad and things of that nature, and that exercise went really well," said Brenda Mitchell, Director of the Montgomery county and city EMA.

But the towing process hasn't been easy, Seamon Wreckers is using four wreckers, and a bulldozer to get it on shore. Once it's there, it will be stay on the boat ramp for a couple of days, while Sabel Steel uses a crane and torch burner to break up the boat before transporting and processing it into scrap.

"It will probably take our burner two or three days to downsize our boat and take it to our facility then after that it will probably take a week or two," said Sean Sabel, with Sabel Steel.

Sabel Steel says it will salvage and recycle close to 75 to 85 percent of the river boat.



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