|From:||David Hinkley dhinkley@***.org|
|Date:||Fri, 12 Mar 1999 00:39:07 -0800|
been following a ship grounding on the Oregon coast for about the last
month. This real life event says a lot about the difficulty in damaging a
About a month ago a Bulk Chip Carrier (a cargo ship designed to transport
wood chips to Japan) the New Carrisa dragged its anchor and ran aground
on the beach outside of the entrance to the harbor at Coos Bay Oregon.
Before it could be towed off a storm broke the ship in to two pieces. It also
began to leak bunker oil on to the beach.
In an attempt to eliminate the oil the bow section was burned twice. Each time
explosive charges were used to rupture the fuel tanks and napalm was
pumped it to warm the bunker fuel so it could burn. These attempts had
limited sucess, By then the bow had moved close enough to attempt to pump
the remaining 100,000 gallons using a special pump (bunker fuel at 50
degrees F has the consitancy of peanut butter).
At the same time a special tow line was fabrcated in the Netherlands (14
inch in diameter, 2200 feet long). When it arrived they attepted to connect
the bow section to a large tug (the same tug that towed the Missouri to
Hawaii). After 3 trys, using a chopper, they were able to get the tow line
between the tug and the bow section.
It took 3 days to pull the bow off the beach and fifty miles out to sea. During
a storm with 30 foot seas, and 60 mph winds the tow line parted and the bow
section beached itself again about 80 miles north of the first location. This
time on a more rocky beach. After a delay of about a week, to get another
towline made and shipped in they towed the bow section off the beach a
second time. This time the get the bow section the full 290 miles off the
beach, where they planned to sink it in 9000 feet of water.
They lowered demo experts by helocopter, who placed charges on the
exterior of the hull. After all moved to a safe distance, the charges were
detonated. Explosions were observed and the bow section sank a bit. Then
they brought in a Destroyer which fired, depending on the news report, 12,
70 or 100 5 inch shells. It sank some more, but still did not go down. Finally
they brought in a submarine which torpedoed it. This finally sank the bow
Keep in mind that this was the front 2/3rds of a ship, broken by having been
beached twice in a storm, having been burned twice, with all cargo hatch
covers open, that required demo charges, 5inch gun fire and a torpedo to
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