From: PDX (and now) London, UK
In research about specific ships I ran across this paper detailing worries about the many wrecks still filled with oil, explosives and other dangerous substances beneath the oceans (and rivers) across the world. I thought this map was worth sharing.
Really interesting reading, although a long paper. I haven't gotten through it all yet. Here is one bit about a ship close to me, and a list of what a liberty ship hauling ordnance might load in 44. Wow! Wouldn't want to throw your cigarette butts in that hold!
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is the United Kingdom’s equivalent to the U.S. Coast Guard. Like their American counterpart, the MCA is responsible for search and rescue, vessel safety, and coastal pollution prevention. One vessel actively managed by the MCA is the SS Richard Montgomery, a 441-foot, 7,146-gross-ton liberty ship that dragged anchor in heavy winds in the Thames Estuary in England on August 20, 1944. The ship ran aground on a sand bar and suffered a broken keel and cracked hull (see fig. 7).
The vessel was carrying the following:
• 13,064 general-purpose 250 lb. bombs
• 9,022 cases of fragmentation bombs
• 7,739 semi-armor-piercing bombs
• 1,522 cases of fuses
• 1,429 cases of phosphorous bombs
• 1,427 cases of 100 lb. demolition bombs
• 817 cases of small arms ammunition
A month-long salvage operation continued until the vessel split in two, filling the holds with seawater. One thousand four hundred tons of explosives remain on board in the forward hull. Due to loose blasting caps in the ammo hold and unstable ammunition, no further effort was made to salvage the vessel. Sixty-two years later, the vessel is still considered to be highly unstable. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency of the United Kingdom maintains a no-entry exclusion zone around the wreck using radar, security boat patrols, and video surveillance to keep curious vessels away (Maritime and Coastguard Agency 2005).
< Message edited by obvert -- 11/6/2012 9:50:20 AM >
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill