The United States helicopter carrier "Inchon" has taken over from the helicopter carrier "Iwo Jima" in the work of helping to clear the Suez Canal of bombs and mines.
AV Aircraft carriers off Port Said
SV Helicopters on deck of Inchon preparing for take off
SV Flight deck crew (2 shots)
SV Helicopters taking off (2 shots)
GV Helicopter guided onto deck of Iwo Jima
SV ZOOM INTO CU Iwo Jima vehicle awaiting shipment
LV Equipment awaiting airlift
SV PAN Another helicopter coming in to land on Iwo jima (2 shots)
SV Crew members & equipment past camera
GV Helicopter lifting equipment
GV ZOOM IN FROM Iwo Jima to Inchon
Initials BB/1710 RS/JB/BB/1730
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Background: The United States helicopter carrier "Inchon" has taken over from the helicopter carrier "Iwo Jima" in the work of helping to clear the Suez Canal of bombs and mines.
The helicopters and equipment used for the clearance surveys were transferred to the Inchon at sea on Sunday (12 May) before she sailed into Port Said.
Mr. Mashour Ahmed Mashour, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, gave a plaque and a silver tray to Captain John Josephson of the Iwo Jima to mark the efforts the ship and her crew have made to get 99 miles (158 kms) of waterway from Port Said to the Red Sea open again after seven years of intermittent barrages of bombs and artillery shells. Mr. Mashour received a plaque in return from captain Josephson.
In a handover ceremony Captain Thomas of the Inchon said he hopes to carry on the good work begun by the Iwo Jima. Admiral McCauley, commander of the task force told newsmen he hoped aerial sweeps along the whole length of the canal should be completed by June.
The Egyptian authorities have estimated that the mine clearing will take another two months, lifting the wrecks that litter the canal -- two months, with a further three months to clear the canal of silt. But many experts believe the estimate of an autumn opening is optimistic. The task of clearing seven years debris is expected to cost more than $75 million sterling.