James River Fleet Ship Sold for Recycling


News Release #: MARAD 06-09
Date: Jun 8 2009
Contact: Susan Clark
Contact Phone: 202-366-5807


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has sold a ship for recycling to International Shipbreaking Ltd. of Brownsville, Texas. The Suribachi, a breakbulk AE21 class ammunition ship, built in 1956 at the Bethlehem facility, Sparrows Point, Md., brought a purchase price of $20,001. The vessel is tentatively scheduled for departure on July 2, 2009.

Suribachi has a full displacement of 15,688 tons, is 511 feet in length with a 72 foot waterline beam, an approximate speed of 20 knots, a 16,000 shaft horsepower, and two boilers, geared turbines and one shaft. The vessel was among the first specialized underway replenishment ships built after World War II. Decommissioned in 1994 after 38 years of service, the vessel has been moored at the James River Reserve Fleet site in Newport News, Va.

The Maritime Administration stores ships at three National Defense Reserve Fleet sites: the James River site, the Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Texas, and the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in California. When ships become obsolete, the Maritime Administration arranges for their disposal in an environmentally sensitive manner. When a ship is recycled, as this one will be, the recycler often salvages and sells metal and other materials, and disposes of other materials in accordance with state and federal law.