Monday, November 16, 2009

What happens to scrapped ships

I grew up in Tidewater Virginia, which meant I was surrounded by ships from birth. I was, and still am, attracted to naval vessels. The increasing standardization of the US Navy and the disappearance of the old ships means there are fewer odd ones to spot, but as a boy there were plenty. I even managed to visit two Soviets ships that came to town at the end of the Cold War.

My fascination with warships extends to their scrapping. It's a sad affair. Scroll down to the see the Spanish Dedalo, the former USS Cabot, sitting in a ditch in Brownsville, Texas. Many would prefer that ships have the fate of the USS Oriskany which was sunk to make a barrier reef. Here is a video of that ship sinking.

Anyway, sometimes they just get scrapped and I wonder what happened to them. The old answer was always, they get made into razor blades. Apparently though you can still touch parts of the German battleship Tirpitz, which was sunk in 1944. Parts of the ships armor are still used in Norway as temporary road patches. Images here.

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