Shipwreck Men on the Discovery Channel continues to demonstrate the importance, as well as the difficulties, of marine salvage.
Discovery Channel’s new marine salvage reality show, Shipwreck Men, continues this week, with more competition between the men who have dedicated their lives to making a living on the water.
As fans know, marine salvage means not only being prepared, but being fast. The first company to get to a boat in distress gets the job at hand when an emergency call goes out; any company showing up late gets nothing but empty pockets. Sometimes the Coast Guard can take a job away from a company, if they feel that the danger involved is too great, or if the company does not appear to be equipped to handle the emergency at hand. A good example was when Burt Korpela and his crew on Atlantis Marine Towing & Salvage missed a big payday recently. They could have scored a $20,000 rescue on a burning boat, Burt insisted, if the Coast Guard would have let them do it. No one was hurt—the owner escaped just before the boat burst into flames, according to the Coast Guard—but the Coast Guard told Atlantis to stand down from trying to put out the fire, turning the job from a rescue to a salvage operation—and a much smaller paycheck.
Other jobs, however, are not emergency situations, but are contracted out like jobs in any other service profession. Last week, for example, the Atlantis was approached about a job in the Bahamas. After accepting, they had to rent a boat for the trip, following the loss an engine in their salvage vehicle. The agreement for bringing a disabled yacht back to Miami was for $10,000—a big payday. But because they had to rent a boat, and because the boat got poor gas mileage, the profit margin was severely affected.
This week, after a hurricane, the marine salvage business is humming, and the paydays could potentially be big for all the marine salvage companies in the area. According to the Discovery Channel:
Hurricane Isaac blasts South Florida, leaving wreckage and destruction for most, but gold for salvors. 70 mph winds and an 11 foot surge test the courage of these hardened shipwreck men as they throw caution to the wind, risking it all to beat the competition.
Shipwreck Men airs on the Discovery Channel on Monday nights at 9/8c.
Image: Discovery Channel
Video: Discovery Channel/Shipwreck Men
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