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Lost at Sea: Okinawan Military Contractors to Salvage a Lost Anchor off Shore of White Beach

By Cpl. Brandon Salas | 3rd Marine Division | Oct. 1, 2019

WHITE BEACH, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines and Sailors with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, worked with Okinawan military contractors to salvage a lost anchor off shore of White Beach, Okinawa, Japan, September 26, 2019.

White Beach receives a high volume of ship traffic which often requires ships to anchor off-shore. The port is shared with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Naval vessels to support local, internal and combined operations. Recently a ship’s anchor was lost off-shore and had become a safety concern for the port. The anchor had been preventing ships from anchoring off-shore and was causing multiple issues.

In support of its host nation allies, 3rd Marine Division was able to utilize its training and assets in order to remove the anchor and get the port back into a safe and operational condition.

The Division used a dive team consisting of two Reconnaissance Marines and two Navy divers to locate and help with the removal.

“The visibility in the water is so low, you can probably only see five to ten feet in front of you,” said Sgt. Colton Morgan, a Reconnaissance Marine.

After the anchor was marked by the dive team, the Okinawan contractors were able to fish the anchor out from the port. Working with Okinawan military contractors, Marines and Sailors were able to coordinate and help the barge find the anchor.

“We re-verified the coordinates of the anchor, tied a buoy and let the barge know exactly where it was,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Mark Sawyer, a Navy diver.

With the success of the mission, ships will now be able to freely anchor off-shore White Beach and shipments can move smoothly again.

This mission is just one example of how the Marine Corps is able to employ its Reconnaissance Marines, whose primary objective is to conduct amphibious reconnaissance.

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