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  #11  
Old 05-28-2013
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

If you want a bit of understanding about global shipping industry including ship breaking you should read, "The Outlaw Sea".

It reads more like a lumping together of several expose's of various aspects of worldwide shipping than a cohesive book, but it was very enlightening for me in a lot of subjects including flags of convenience and how that system came into being, ship breaking and piracy.

The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime: William Langewiesche: 9780865477223: Amazon.com: Books The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime: William Langewiesche: 9780865477223: Amazon.com: Books



For those that don't want to read the book, you'd be amazed at how those giant ships are devoured by barefoot peasants working under appalling conditions. Its essentially like a ants working on a carcass. There is a place in India where they run the ship up on the beach at high tide, then as the gut the ship from inside to lighten it, the haul it higher and higher up the beach until they can cut up and scrap every piece of it. It is dirty, dangerous work, with significant environmental impacts but it provides a living for people that would otherwise not have work. AT the time the book was written environmental issues were putting the location in India out of business but of course other even more impoverished areas were vying to grab the trade. Tough political issue to tackle.
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Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 05-28-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2013
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

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Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post
There is a place in India where they run the ship up on the beach at high tide, then as the gut the ship from inside to lighten it, the haul it higher and higher up the beach until they can cut up and scrap every piece of it. It is dirty, dangerous work, with significant environmental impacts but it provides a living for people that would otherwise not have work.
It is this that I referred to earlier and whilst TV reports shouldn't be taken as gospel, they reported that the people who were buying these ships for $5m were reaping returns of $10m or more for the salvage of not only the steel but as has been said earlier, the gear that is taken off them.

They also reported that the poor buggers that were doing the dangerous work under appalling conditions were getting paid absolute peanuts. Isn't it nice to see capitalism at work
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  #13  
Old 05-28-2013
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

There was an article in last years classic yacht magazine about a business in the UK that bids on the contents of those ships. The scrappers only care about the metals, the rest they sell off without a second thought to the highest bidder.
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

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Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
And to top it off; You have some enviomentalist nut job saying that that ship will be releasing it fuel/lube oils and other hazardous flopsum that will poison the ocean.
One does need to be an environmentalist nut job to know that sinking ship might leak things into the water that are harmful to the things that live in the water. Or sail or float upon them, for that matter.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

First, this is a tiny ship and I would guess the yard in the DR would not make anything like $1 million on the steel. Perhaps it was going to be refurbished for the Caribbean cruise trade in a SD shipyard. There are a few similar size vessels in service there now.
Second, I would venture to guess that all the equipment and much of the electronics aboard is Soviet era and virtually valueless. The Soviets weren't well known for their quality manufacturing.
As a derelict it is subject to Admiralty Law and that is very cut and dried. If you towed it you would probably own it, as no one is going to pay for the tow. Then you would be liable should it sink and pollute or become a hazard.
Just a huge headache for all, and if it has sunk a pretty messy problem for quite a few years to come. If not........?
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
They also reported that the poor buggers that were doing the dangerous work under appalling conditions were getting paid absolute peanuts. Isn't it nice to see capitalism at work
That tallies with what I've seen: Locals in shorts and flip-flops, gas axe in one hand, goggles in the other.. not someone to mess with! It's quite something to watch them crawl in and cut their way out and their accuracy with the torch is quite incredible. With so many at work on the same piece of ship at the same time it is surprising that they only kill a few a year - usually simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even amidst the sparks flying everywhere, they usually seem to innately know exactly where everyone else is.

The good ones are comparatively fairly well paid - just not by our standards, that's all.

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Second, I would venture to guess that all the equipment and much of the electronics aboard is Soviet era and virtually valueless. The Soviets weren't well known for their quality manufacturing.
You'd be surprised. The ship I was on picked up some Delaval oil purifiers for their scrap value from some Russian ship they had up on the beach and I can't recall there ever being problems with them. In my limited experience, Soviet mechanical equipment tends to be grossly over-spec'd and made to run forever.. just not so sure about their electronics.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

Dumping in the ocean is an easy, affordable way out. The Ublureac, Esso drill supply vessel in the Beaufort, sank ,mainly due to untrained crew, and raised at a cost of several million. Taken into Tuk, she waited for the paper work to come from Ottawa , a deep water dumping permit, and Bob's yer uncle. One of my duties during this debacle was wiping fuel oil from passing ice with absorbent rags.Became a bit jaded re industry response to environmental stuff and then went to Exxon on the Valdez adventure.
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Re: It's Not Just Containers.....

..and, speaking of untrained crew, don't forget the 'Yogi':

Why Did the Megayacht Yogi Sink?
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