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Thread: ghost fleet

  1. #136
    Senior Contributor Rumrunner's Avatar
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    Suisun Bay Fleet Gone by 2017?

    Gone? Really? Seems like the agreement went from "all the old and useless ships will be out" to "everybody out" in just over a week. What happens to ships like the Iowa, Green Mountain State and the ships of the Cape B and Cape G class which are still considered military useful?

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    Suisun Mothball Fleet to Be Gone By 2017 | NBC Bay Area

    Suisun Mothball Fleet to Be Gone By 2017

    The historic but toxic skeleton crew of ships in Suisun Bay known as the Ghost Fleet or Mothball Fleet will be gone by 2017.

    Details of an agreement between The U.S. Maritime Administration, state clean water regulators and environmentalists to remove the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet were announced Wednesday.

    Under the plan, hazardous material will be removed from the 52 ghost ships in four months and paint chipping off the ships will be cleaned within two years.

    Twenty of the ships in the worst condition headed for disposal in the first round will be taken from the fleet to a dry dock in San Francisco by 2012 until they head to Texas to be recycled.

    The remaining ships will be cleaned every three months to prevent any further pollution. Monthly inspections and water tests will be done on the ships that will be staying in Suisun Bay until their final ending. No more ships will be added to the fleet.

    The agreement ends more than two years of legal wrangling between environmentalists and the government over maintenance and disposal of the outdated ships, which have been polluting the Suisun Bay for decades.

    "What a difference an election makes," Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez said via a news release. "During the last eight years, virtually no action was taken to clean up the ships, and only a few of the decaying ships were removed - despite clear congressional direction. But today's announcement is a significant step forward. In just one year, the Obama administration has restarted a stalled process, and crafted a plan that will lead to the removal of the worst ships."

    Miller, along with Rep. Ellen Tauscher, and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have been active in trying to get the fleet removed.

    A federal judge in January ruled in favor of environmentalists, saying the fleet is polluting the bay as toxic paint and other material falls from the ships.
    You know JJ, Him could do it....

  2. #137
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumrunner View Post
    Gone? Really? Seems like the agreement went from "all the old and useless ships will be out" to "everybody out" in just over a week. What happens to ships like the Iowa, Green Mountain State and the ships of the Cape B and Cape G class which are still considered military useful?

    This?

  3. #138
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    unfortunately some very sad looking ships (but great photos just the same)
    Thanks for posting!
    I to had thought (and expected) that these ships would have been kept in much better condition - then as already pointed out some are WWII vintage, and it would cost a fortune to keep them all maintained

    A very interesting topic/subject


    Regards
    Pioneer

  4. #139
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Just back from 2 weeks in the Philippines three days ago for a special project. I can confirm that all 4 Victory ships are now gone, along with the Fort Fisher and the Mission Santa Ynez. The Mission Santa Ynez deserved to be pulled as it was the most fouled ship out there due to birds. Dung was literally 4-6" deep on the deck and the insides so fouled it was hard to walk and avoid the bulkheads.

    I saw a list for the next 7 to be pulled out in the coming months. Don't recall all of it other than the Pyro and the Monticello are on it. Not yet on the list were the Patrick and the Pope even though they have been closed to parts hunting. To bad as the Pope is a really cool ship inside. The Patrick will definitely need to be pumped empty of water that has flooded the 4th deck mess area as she is listing. As was said there are a lot of recently added ships out there which look to be in brand new condition. Cape Fear, Cape Breton, Cape Borda, Cape Bover, Green Mountain State, Comet, and Meteor to name most.

    Last month saw the crew that had a contract to go out and sweep the ships of deck debris. Their contract was up this week and a new crew will be coming out to continue putting stuff in 55 gallon drums. One thing that irritates me about comments is that they are rusting hulks rotting away. Outside of heavy layers of paint peeling and surface rust there is very little rust of the ships structure on the whole. Oh, and of course birds add to the debris considerably. It is a shame that Marad's budget has been cut over the years which allowed the ships to get like this. They literally have had no maintenance at all for years. All of Marad Suisun's tugs are out of action due to lack of maintenance except one. They are also for sale and were originally Navy YTB tugs from Mare Island. Tugs need to be rented for the day to move the ships out now.

    The special project below:

  5. #140
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Oh, when I first saw the group of 20 going out to clean the ships I thought they looked a little rough around the edges so to speak. Turns out they were Correctional low level prisoners what ever low level means in California these days.

  6. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Oh, when I first saw the group of 20 going out to clean the ships I thought they looked a little rough around the edges so to speak. Turns out they were Correctional low level prisoners what ever low level means in California these days.
    So does Cal Dept of Corrections have the cleaning contract?

    Seems to me that would be a win/win setup.

  7. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Oh, when I first saw the group of 20 going out to clean the ships I thought they looked a little rough around the edges so to speak. Turns out they were Correctional low level prisoners what ever low level means in California these days.
    They probably mean "minimum security" prisoners; cons in for their first time and/or misdemeanor cons. There's an "honor farm" (a fancy way of saying minimum security prison) not too far from where I live, and they typically use the prisoners to clean the highways, etc. Every once in a while you hear about one "hopping the fence" (not too hard to do) and high-tailing it back to Mexico (well, I DO live in the Central Valley!).
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  8. #143
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Well for the month they were out there I didn't hear of any drownings...

  9. #144
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Even more interesting is that the cost for cleaning the ships for the tow out runs $1+ million per ship. At 52 ships it will be at least $60 million to process them. Give us some of that and we can put the Iowa next to the Hornet in Alameda which has been mentioned by some. I'm sure MARAD would be thrilled since they feel the Hornet is in their way with their Ready Reserve ships stationed around us. Apparently they feel that all our visitors driving through the parking lot are a threat to security.

  10. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    This?
    Yea...and note that on the bottom of those blades it says "Made in China" - thats where 80% of the recycled steel ends up.
    You know JJ, Him could do it....

  11. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    I saw a list for the next 7 to be pulled out in the coming months. Don't recall all of it other than the Pyro and the Monticello are on it. Not yet on the list were the Patrick and the Pope even though they have been closed to parts hunting. To bad as the Pope is a really cool ship inside. The Patrick will definitely need to be pumped empty of water that has flooded the 4th deck mess area as she is listing. As was said there are a lot of recently added ships out there which look to be in brand new condition. Cape Fear, Cape Breton, Cape Borda, Cape Bover, Green Mountain State, Comet, and Meteor to name most.
    The Cape Fear is a parts hulk for her 3 sisterships in Beaumont which are still in the RRF for the SeaBees, so she might stay somewhere unless she's already been picked clean. The Cape B's are, technically speaking, the most modern cargo ships in the RRF despite being breakbulk, but from what I'm given to understand are in the best material condition, much like the Cape A's located in the James River. I dont see them getting chopped until their cargo tonnage can be replaced.

    The Green Mountain State just lost her sistership to the DOD Missile Defense agency as a tracking ship, so I would think she's now little more than a parts hulk. There already are three ACS's next to the Hornet so I think she's done for, especially being the only ship of her class now.

    The Comet and the Meteor are as good as gone, despite being the first 2 ro-ro ships in the world.


    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    It is a shame that Marad's budget has been cut over the years which allowed the ships to get like this. They literally have had no maintenance at all for years. All of Marad Suisun's tugs are out of action due to lack of maintenance except one. They are also for sale and were originally Navy YTB tugs from Mare Island. Tugs need to be rented for the day to move the ships out now.
    Much the same in the JRRF, their crane barge wasnt working when I was there last September, but they got a beat-up looking hand-me-down river towboat/crane from the USACE they were trying to get operational. Neither was working when they repositioned the former USS Monongahela and the hired crane they used couldnt lift her anchors from the bottom so she could be re-moored properly. End result: She got loose in a storm and spent 11 weeks aground on the side of the river. Oops
    You know JJ, Him could do it....

  12. #147
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    I also remember the Cape Gibson and Cape Girardeau. The Gibson was recently sold to Texas A&M as their new training ship. There was rumor that the Girardeau might have been going south as in way south but nothing yet.

    Our MARAD crane has worked off and on. Mainly has had leaks in the barge itself that had it out of commission over in San Francisco. The barge and crew used to pull the twin mount gun was loaned to us by Trident or Bay Marine. Can't remember which but whoever it worked out well for us.

    After that group of ships from early to mid 2000 we have the group from 1994-95 which is mainly AOR's and LSD's. Then you get to the crappy private merchant marine ships stored there and the WWII built ships. Then a few odds and ends like Coast Guard.

    Soon there will be nothing as compared to what I remember from the 70's. Luckily we had the chance to go aboard the Big O in 1990 to snag escalator parts for our ship while she was at Mare Island. On one trip even got to wander into the Oklahoma City to take a look. She was a royal mess but nonetheless a gun cruiser. Best part was when one of the guys wandered off by himself and the rest of us headed back to the carrier. At the end of the day he was nowhere to be found until we saw him waving from the bridge of the Oklahoma City. He got locked in and since this wasn't MARAD property we didn't have a babysitter with keys)

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  14. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Even more interesting is that the cost for cleaning the ships for the tow out runs $1+ million per ship. At 52 ships it will be at least $60 million to process them. Give us some of that and we can put the Iowa next to the Hornet in Alameda which has been mentioned by some. I'm sure MARAD would be thrilled since they feel the Hornet is in their way with their Ready Reserve ships stationed around us. Apparently they feel that all our visitors driving through the parking lot are a threat to security.
    tbm3, forgive me, this is a little off-subject, but are you involved with the Hornet in some way? Are you a docent? Reason I ask is that I get out to the Hornet at least once a year (sometimes twice) for the youth group overnighter program.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  15. #150
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Not a docent as they don't touch a paint scrapper or paint brush. I have been restoring the actual ship since 1998 with three years of that time spent on the TBM. After restoring Secondary Con and the bull nose I have spent all my time in the Island working my way up from O4 to O5 to O6 and now on O8 till May 26th. From then on I move outside to finish the O6 port side wing before the next rainy season starts. Maybe after my hands become crippled from paint scrapping I might be a docent. Unfortunately O8-O10 will never be open to the general public but as long as I am with the ship all areas are worthy of restoration whether open or not.

    This is what O8 used to look like and why I can't stand looking at it this way

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