Glasgow Shipyard Inaugurates Its Saving Grace
Glasgow's Govan shipyard celebrated a welcome but rare sight on Friday as a new ship slipped into the dark waters of the Clyde - the first since the once-mighty yard's shaky future was guaranteed last year.
The 643 ft. (196-m) Wave Ruler, the second of a new class of oilers for Britain's Royal Fleet Auxiliary, will be used primarily to provide Royal Navy and NATO ships with fuel and fresh water at sea.
The decline of shipbuilding on the Clyde has become a symbol of the changing nature of the UK economy. In its World War One heyday, 150,000 men toiled in the Clydeside yards, which accounted for one in every two ships to put to sea.
However, the launch of Wave Ruler represents a newfound sense of optimism in the industry after the UK government last July ordered three new Type 45 Destroyers - two to be built on Clydeside - costing a total of one billion pounds ($1.44 billion).