Mare Island Receives First Vessel From Mothball Fleet

VALLEJO (KCBS) – Three tugboats pulled a retired steam freighter from Suisun Bay to the Mare Island shipyard Thursday to be dismantled and ultimately recycled.

The SS Solon Turman will be de-watered, stripped of its lead paint and most of its 17 million pounds of material and equipment hauled away for salvage, said Jay Anast with Allied Defense Recycling, the start-up that won the first west coast contract to dispose of the mothball fleet.

“Today’s ship is tomorrow’s new Chevy Volt,” Anast said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Most of the equipment from the ship will be repurposed for heavy industrial work, Anast said.

First, the Department of Fish and Game will coordinate the removal of the fish that call the 8,500-ton vessel home and put them back into nearby rivers.

Then, as it sits on blocks in dry dock, the asbestos and lead paint on the ship will be packaged up to prevent contamination.

Live Webcam of the Mare Island Dock

The ship was due to arrive by 11 a.m. Thursday. Transporting it from Suisun Bay was delayed by one day for a Coast Guard could inspection to ensure it could be safely towed.

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