The Maritime Administration
(MARAD) has awarded new contracts to dismantle two ships from the James River Reserve
Fleet at Fort Eustis, VA, the agency announced today. The work will go to Bay Bridge Enterprises, LLC, of Chesapeake, VA. The two ships will bring to 14 the number of ships that have left the James River site for disposal in the past year, and to 41 the number that have left since January of 2001.
Bay Bridge Enterprises, which has dismantled six other ships for MARAD in the past two years, was awarded two contracts: one to dismantle the Sunbird, for $85,920, and another to scrap the Mizar, for $243,900. The Sunbird, a Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship, was built in Savannah, GA and launched in April 1946. The Mizar was built as a small ice-strengthened cargo ship in Avondale, LA and converted to a research vessel in 1964.
“These contracts move two more ships out of the James River and continue our commitment to reducing the number of obsolete ships in the fleet as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible, ” said Acting Maritime Administrator John Jamian. Under the terms of the contracts, Bay Bridge is obligated to tow the two ships from the fleet within 30 days.
The James River Reserve Fleet is one of three National Defense Reserve Fleet anchorage sites. The NDRF is maintained by MARAD for the maintenance of readiness assets, including vessels owned or acquired by the United States Government that are determined to be of value for national defense purposes. When vessels are no longer considered militarily useful, MARAD arranges for their responsible disposal or disposition.