Jan 16, 2015

Inside the Ghost Ships of the Mothball Fleet (49 Pics)


By on Friday, January 16, 2015

History and Current State

These ghost ships, part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) overseen by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), were supposed to be ready for duty in the event of a national emergency. Perhaps a few ships are actually “reserve ready” and could be activated, but the vast majority are well beyond their useful lives and rotting away as they wait in line for disposal.

The mothballed ships once numbered close to 400, and in 1959, 324 vessels still lined the waters of Suisun Bay. Although the ships continued to dwindle down over time, approximately 75 remained throughout the 2000s, rusting and leaching toxic heavy metals into the bay as the Bush administration did little to address the crumbling ships.
Many ships in the fleet served in World War II, including the historic USS Iowa, the last remaining U.S. lead battleship. Retired war ships like the Iowa were laid up in Suisun Bay for decades awaiting their next battle, but the call never came. Instead, they have sat unused and largely forgotten. But the Iowa will likely see a different fate than its sister ships who await their ultimate demise at a shipbreaker. Vallejo is currently in a heated battle with the port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) to secure rights to the battleship and turn it into a museum.

















































0 comments:

Post a Comment