The final voyage of aircraft carrier USS Saratoga begins today. From the Eastern Hemisphere to the Western Hemisphere, the USS Saratoga has made her mark around the globe, and served more than 38 years in the United States Navy. The carrier’s aircraft flew sorties in the Vietnam War, in Operation Desert Shield and over the states of the former Yugoslavia in 1992. Throughout its four decades of service, more than 60,000 sailors served on its decks, with roughly 5,000 at any given time.
Setting sail August 21, USS Saratoga will be towed to ESCO Marine where her 59,000 tons of steel will be recycled. The Navy awarded ESCO Marine of Brownsville, Texas the disassembling and recycling of the carrier and during this time, the aircraft carrier is still owned by the Navy with ESCO taking ownership of the scrap metal during the dismantling.
Signet Maritime Corporation has the distinct honor to tow the USS Saratoga on her final journey. The Offshore Towing Vessel, Signet Warhorse III, is a 143’5” x 50’ x 18’ ABS Fully Classed tug with 10,000 brake horsepower and 135.44 Metric Tonnes bollard pull. The tow will originate in Newport, Rhode Island and end in Brownsville, Texas.
Signet is applying its “Bundling” project management to incorporate seagoing and harbor assist all under one umbrella. The estimated voyage will take 15 days maintaining a speed of 6 knots and traveling a total of 2,120 nautical miles.
Signet Maritime’s nine-person crew departed Signet’s ocean transport base in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on August 5, 2014, completing a Major Project Risk Assessment (MPRA) upon arrival. She is expected to arrive in Brownsville, Texas, with USS Saratoga in tow, on September 4, 2014.