The first two of 13 Ghost Fleet ships
are leaving Virginia as part of the four ship pilot program as authorized by Congress. The plan to export 13 ships from the James River Reserve
Fleet to the AbleUK facility in Teesside, England is environmentally responsible and fiscally sound according to a satement released by MARAD, the agency responsible for the ships.
In a ruling last week, a federal judge placed a temporary restraining order, blocking the nine remaining ships from leaving the James River to be towed to England for dismantling.
AbleUK, the company who will dismantle ths ships in Teesside, England, has agreed to a contract modification as a result of last week's Temporary Restraining Order, issued by the U.S. District Court, to enable the four ships to proceed to its facility this fall. Subject to a resolution of the outstanding issues raised by the lawsuit, the remaining nine ships will depart the James River Reserve Fleet
in the spring or summer months of 2004.