The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced four new disposal contracts for obsolete ships in its National Defense Reserve Fleet. Two of the ships are in the James River Reserve Fleet in Virginia, and two are in the Suisun Bay near San Francisco, CA. Three of the ships will be dismantled in Brownsville, TX, and one in Chesapeake, VA. “Our ship disposal policy of ‘worst first’ has worked for us,” said Deputy Maritime Administrator John Jamian. “We have cleared out the ships in the worst condition, most of which were in the James River. Now we can work ahead and dispose of ships before the situation becomes so critical.” The Santa Lucia, a 1966-vintage cargo ship, currently in the James River site, will be towed to the Marine Metal facility in Brownsville, under the terms of a contract worth $565,827; the Pawcatuck, a tanker built in 1946, also in the James River, will go to Bay Bridge Enterprises of Chesapeake, under a contract worth $569,373. A contract for $1,299,327 to dismantle the 1958-vintage tanker Connecticut, now at Suisun Bay, was awarded to International Shipbreaking, Ltd., of Brownsville; and ESCO Marine, also of Brownsville, was awarded a contract to tow and dismantle the Nemasket, a tanker built in 1942, for $1,224,100. “The removal of the Santa Lucia and the Pawcatuck is another positive step in the proper management of the James River Reserve Fleet,” Senator George Allen said. “Along with members of the Virginia delegation, Deputy Maritime Administrator John Jamian, and other government officials, I will continue to work hard and remain vigilant to protect the James River and the interests of Virginians who depend on it for their recreation and commerce.” The James River Reserve Fleet and the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet are two of the three National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) anchorage sites. MARAD maintains the NDRF as a reserve of ships for national defense and national emergencies. When ships are no longer considered viable for defense or aid missions, MARAD arranges for their responsible disposal.