A rusty, floating dry-dock almost the size of two football fields has been towed off Apra Harbor where it’s been based for almost half a century. The Richland dry-dock, once used to repair military ships and submarines in Guam, is on a journey to the Philippines, where it was stationed for repairs of U.S. and allied ships during the final stages of World War II, according to the Navy. The Philippines hosts a thriving ship repair industry at the former U.S. Navy base at Subic Bay. Subic transformed into commercial shipping and trade hub after the Philippine government banned U.S. military bases from continuing their presence in the country in the early 1990s. Once owned by the U.S. military, the floating dry-dock’s previous owner, the Guam Shipyard, sold the property to an undisclosed buyer. The sale is confidential and the buyer couldn’t be named, according to a Guam Shipyard executive, Mathew Pothen. The Navy and U.S. Coast Guard did confirm the dry-dock began its voyage across the Philippine Sea on Jan. 28. The Coast Guard established a 500-yard safety zone, advising other ships to keep a distance, while the floating dry-dock was transiting through Guam waters. Richland is a 622-foot-long, 124-foot-wide floating garage for ships. A tugboat is pulling Richland on its trip to the Philippines.
Source: United Filipino Seafarers