The End is Near


Dec 2, 2000
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The end has been near for quite some time I'm afraid. When repairs were constantly deferred until the ship was finally removed from the schedule with no hint of possible reinstatement, I knew the writing was on the wall.

The shell game of changing ownership aside, it may still be awhile befor the first cutting torch is applied to steel. By all accounts, the ship is a toxic witch's brew of asbestos lagging and other materials and you can certain that envoronmental activist groups are watching this affair like the proverbial hawk. This may give any preservationist group a distant chance at a reprieve but realistically, I don't think it's going to happen unless such a movement is sponsored by somebody with very deep pockets!
 
Jan 18, 2005
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Hello,

this morning I read in the newspaper about the protests from Greenpeace. I only now fully realise the world is going to lose the Norway, for ever, and something like her will never be created again.

I find it heartwrenching that no other solution could be found to keep her with us, especially since the rumours started she would come to Amsterdam in 2005, to be berthed in an area that is 1000 meters away from where I am sitting now; grrrrr...

Is there someone out there who is able to document her demise, gruelling though that will be?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Is there someone out there who is able to document her demise, gruelling though that will be?<<

Probably the guys who run the Maritime Matters website will be keeping a watch on this. Peter Knego has a talant for getting photos of that nature and Maritime Matters has been keeping a close watch on Alang for years, either in person or through local proxies.

The homepage is at http://www.maritimematters.com/index.html

I have to say that I find the reactions of the environmentalists more then just a little bit annoying. Don't get me wrong. They have some extremely valid concerns regarding the problem of asbestos and other toxic wastes, but they offer no constructive ideas about what to do about it.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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So it goes. Sad, but ships are holes in the water into which you pour money. Keeping a ship as a static museum would be lovely, but my God, how horrendously expensive with no let up in sight forever! Perhaps she is better off being broken up, like the "Normandie" and "Ile" before her.
Adieu, "France".
 
J

Jon Meadows

Guest
Brittannis anyone? That way it could be visited and explored and have a slow death rather than having it's fitting scattered to the winds.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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Only if it could be filmed and photographed from every conceivable angle during the sinking, and better, have cameras mounted on and in her when she goes. But I rather think there is too much money tied up in her steel and other metals. She'll be broken up. Besides, those people in Alang are immune to asbestos, petrochemical baths, falling bits of iron, etc. The tear down should be photo documented for history's sake alone.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Besides, those people in Alang are immune to asbestos, petrochemical baths, falling bits of iron, etc.<<

Unfortunately, they're not immune. Occasionally, the Discovery Channel runs it's documentary on Alang from time to time. Watch it if you get the chance.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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Michael: I was writing in a "tongue in cheek" manner, or at least attempting to. There is a video one can purchase on ship breaking in Alang, which is something I've wanted to acquire along with the "Oceanus" sinking video.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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Some third world country like Bangladesh or Sri Lanka will gladly take the work and the steel. If not them, they'll sell it directly to the Chinese.
 
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Scott R. Andrews

Guest
IMO, what we are seeing here is the biggest problem with organizations like Greenpeace. They are very good at creating a nuisance and thwarting projects such as towing obsoleted ships to the breakers. Yet, have any of these groups ever proposed a practical, workable and financially viable solution to any of these problems? Making a lot of noise is easy -- it's being an active participant in providing a real solution to these problems that's the difficult part!

If such organizations become much more successful at preventing these ships from reaching scrappers in that part of the world than they already have been, I fear they will in advertently create even greater problems than the ones they are trying to put a stop to. Given the economics of disposing of some of these materials versus the actual scrap value of some of these ships, we could very well see many more "accidental" sinkings of older ships out in international waters while under tow, supposedly enroute to begin "new business ventures" for shill companies. There are many less scrupulous enterprises out there that will gladly take ten cents on the dollar for a payout on a transport insurance claim versus scrap value if it means they can avoid a potential net loss due to hazardous materials disposal fees.

Scott Andrews
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Yet, have any of these groups ever proposed a practical, workable and financially viable solution to any of these problems? <<

Not that I've seen. It's not as if their concerns aren't valid. They are. A ship can be a real witches brew of toxic waste and materials. They problem is that while they're very good at obstruction, they just don't have a plan for dealing with things. They need to come up with one.

>>I fear they will in advertently create even greater problems than the ones they are trying to put a stop to. <<

They already have. There are backwaters and estuaries all over the world where worn out, obsolete ships are anchored and rusting away and I don't expect any of them to be cleared out any time soon. In the meantime, the condition of these old vessels deteriorates with each passing day. Nobody short of a government agency is going to be much interested in scrapping a ship if they lose money in the process. With a set up like that, I expect it's going to take some abrupt sinkings in some of these anchorages to get the message across.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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Hello everyone,
I'll always remember the first cruise I went on, over a decade ago now I believe. It was in the Caribbean. We passed the Norway as she was sitting near the port, and we were on our way out. She still had the giant sign amidship which betrayed her former identity as the France. She had very nice lines, much nicer than the floating boxes they call ships these days. That's not to say I dislike cruise ships, I love cruises, but definitely not because of the designs of the exterior of the ships! It is sad that the France is to be scrapped, but such is the life of a ship. She had been refitted many times, and was just becoming too old and high-maintenance to operate. The fire really put an end to any hopes of her being a profitable ship, and given her age, I would question how much longer she could have been safely operated even if she was repaired. Hope all of you had a nice weekend.
Kind regards,
Tad
 

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