Thirty years ago, Bob Steber, managing director at Ginnacle Import-Export Pte Ltd., initiated a project in Burma that recovered 2,000 teak logs and 500 rosewood logs from the depths of the Rangoon River.
Some that had been under water for more than 150 years. The heartwood was just as durable and golden brown as the day the tree was felled.
With new equipment, Steber believes that he can now undertake an even more successful recovery than the original project.
According to Steber, for 200 years, teak logs have been transported by raft through rivers, for example, from the Northern Forests to Rangoon.
The logs have then been exported worldwide to various industries, including yacht builders.
However, during transportation, these rafts would occasionally encounter strong winds, especially during monsoon season.
“The rafts would then hit the riverbank, and some teak logs would break free and sink to the bottom of the river,” explains Steber.
To find these logs they use a special sonar that can show exactly where logs are, even in the very muddy waters of the Chindwin or Irrawaddy Rivers.
Then divers jump in, locate the log by feeling it according to the coordinates, and secure a chain to the log.
The log is winched up carefully, marked and taken to the nearest Myanmar Government timber depot.
“We like to say that we are recovering a forest of teak without cutting a single tree.”
Clare Sidwell of Superyachtnews.com