Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Independence, former Hawaii cruise ship, now "toxic?" So sad.

by Larry Geller

Remember the Independence?

SS Independence

Aloha Captain Wirkala (Dana):

"She is truly a grand lady, this is a digital picture taken from the ms PATRIOTS's navigational bridge of your fine vessel the SS INDEPENDENCE in the Lahaina Basin this afternoon (10/19) on the last full day of this glorious cruise. She truly represents the spirit of Hawaii and it's people and some of the finest American workmanship."

"We can all be proud of our concerted efforts and contribution which has provided countless memories to our island guests and has provided a truly rewarding and meaning purpose for many of us who affectionately refer to her as the Indy. The Indy has for over 21 years supported our local economy and is responsible for the resurgence and renewed interest in cruising, as in the yesteryears of the traditional white ships that graced our Hawaiian waters such as the Lurline, Matsonia, Mariposa and Monterey. The Indy joins the ranks of these gracious liners which previously served Hawaii with pride and distinction. Mahalo nui loa. - Aloha, Bill Anonsen, Vice President, Maritime Affairs, AMCV" [from MaritimeMatters]

I was sad to see this report. The "Indy" was just refused entry to Hawaii:

Coast Guard on Alert for Toxic Ship

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency are on alert for the possible arrival of the contaminated cruise liner, SS Independence, which is reportedly heading to Guam after being refused entry in Hawaii, The Variety reported.

SS Independence, which is believed to be loaded with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls or PCB and lung-damaging asbestos, is being pulled by the tug ship Pacific Hickory, on the way to India, where the 57-year-old cruises liner will be scrapped. With the disabled vessel in tow, Pacific Hickory reportedly attempted to stop in Hawaii to refuel but both ships were turned away by Hawaii EPA and the Coast Guard because of the health risk posed by PCB and asbestos contamination.

The international activist group called Save the Classic Liners has urged the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA to impound the SS Independence, warning that breaking it down in Asia would release toxic PCBs and asbestos. SS Independence was towed out of its berth on the San Francisco waterfront last week, after being mothballed for years. Source: Variety News [].

I'm very fond of historical ships. Even maybe cruise ships.

Was the SS Independence always "toxic?" How come now? I don't know the story yet. I also wonder what the tug will do if it can't refuel anyplace. Does it just cut the ship loose, shrug its shoulders, and go home?

This is a part of Hawaii's history, and we chase it away. Shame.


Its always been toxic, but thats not why she is being turned away

Its a legal matter, as the Coast Guard corrected today. It is illegal to export ships containing PCBs and Asbestoses to a "lesser devolved" country without being first decontaminated.

If left undisturbed, these materials that were used in ship built near this time (like the SS United States was until she was de contimated in Turkey...except the engine room)are harmless, but if they get broken, ripped apart and other things that happen when a ship is scrapped, they become dangerous to human health.

India does not have proper safty equipment (or any saftey eqipment for that matter..) to deal with these materials. The fact the ship was aloud to leave San Francisco in general is in violation of international law, Hawaii is protecting itself from being involved at all, as should the ship be scrapped, they would be partially responsable

"Save the Classic Liners" North American Team Member

There appears to be more issues than that see http://BlueNorway.Org

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