The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has awarded contracts to recycle two more of the obsolete government-owned ships, which are currently moored in the James River Reserve Fleet (JRRF) in Virginia. The two ships being recycled are the Escape and the Cape Cod. These two vessels will be the 83rd and 84th ships to leave the JRRF since 2001.
The Escape (ARS-6) was built as a Navy rescue ship in 1942 by Basalt Rock Co. in Napa, Calif. The vessel supported the nation's "Mercury" manned spaceflight program in the early 1960s. The Escape will be recycled at Bay Bridge Enterprises, LLC, of Chesapeake, Va., at a cost to the federal government of $115,200.
The Cape Cod (AK-5041) was built as a break-bulk cargo ship in 1962 by Bethlehem Steel in Sparrows Point, Md. The Cape Cod will be recycled by All Star Metals, LLC, of Brownsville, Texas, for $328,122.
The Maritime Administration stores ships at three National Defense Reserve Fleet sites: the James River Reserve Fleet, the Beaumont Reserve Fleet, and the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in California. When ships become obsolete, the Maritime Administration arranges for their disposition in an environmentally sensitive manner. When a ship is recycled, the recycler often salvages and sells metal and other materials, and disposes of other materials in accordance with state and federal law.