The SS Cape Florida arrived at the Port of Brownsville on Thursday, where after 36 years of service it will be dismantled and recycled.
International Shipbreaking LLC. was awarded the contract to transport, strip and recycle the decommissioned barge carrier on July 6. The company towed the Cape Florida from the U.S. Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Fleet in Beaumont to its plant at the port, where it arrived on Aug. 13.
Cape Florida was built in 1970 in New Orleans by Avondale Industries Corp. as a Lighter Aboard Ship Barge Carrier. The carriers transport light unpowered barges “Lighters” and are commonly called “Kangaroo Ships.” The ship is equipped with a crane system capable of lifting barges in and out out of the water.
Bought by the U.S. Maritime Administration in 1986, the SS Cape Florida was deployed to many locations across the globe, including Suez Canal, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Germany. It also took part Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was decommissioned in 2006.
The SS Cape Florida is 893 feet long, has a draft of 38 feet and a displacement of 44,610 tons. It was capable of carrying 77 barges.
“It is with great pride that we have been awarded this ship recycling contract. Extensive safety and environmental assessments are taking place on board to ensure that this ship recycling project is carried out to the highest standards,” said International Shipbreaking senior manager Chris green.
The shipbreaking process should be completed early next year, with 98% of the ship being recycled.