2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 25 Nov 2002 16:43:37 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Ghost fleet
Ghost fleet
An oil spill threat close to home
November 23, 2002

Here's a quiz. The terms "environmental time bombs" and "floating
garbage dumps" were in the news recently. Could these phrases apply to:

                   A. The kind of tanker that spilled oil off the coast
of Spain?

                   B. The James River Reserve Fleet, aka the ghost

                   C. Both of the above?

                   D. Neither of the above?

The answer is C.

European Union officials have used these terms to describe thousands of
old-style tankers that pose the danger of oil spills in European waters.
The latest incident: A tanker spilled, according to some estimates, 1.5
million gallons of oil and fuel into the Atlantic off the coast of Spain
this week. A storm caused the tanker to break apart, spewing tar-like
goop into the ocean, threatening 185 miles of shoreline and rich fishing
grounds, killing wildlife and spoiling beaches. Another 18.5 million
gallons of oil went to the ocean floor in the sinking hull.

The terms "environmental time bombs" and "floating garbage dumps" apply
just as well to many of the 100 vessels Uncle Sam has tied up in the
James River.

Leaks aren't uncommon at the reserve fleet - eight occurred between 1998
and 2000 - so another one is a pretty sure bet. Corroded hulls can give
way, storms can knock ships into each other or break their lines and, as
we learned last summer, passing vessels can knock them loose. Tropical
Storm Floyd pulled 30 ships from their moorings.

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