I’ve sailed past these ships, and have always wondered what on earth they were doing, sitting there, rafted up, rusting, and far away from wars or oceans… Today I found out:
“These ghost ships, part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) overseen by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), were supposed to be ready for duty in the event of a national emergency. Perhaps a few ships are actually “reserve ready” and could be activated, but the vast majority are well beyond their useful lives and rotting away as they wait in line for disposal.”
“Over a two-year period, several close friends and I gained unprecedented access to the decaying ships, spending several days at a time photographing, documenting, and even sleeping aboard them—often in the luxury of the captain’s quarters. Sneaking on-board required months of planning and coordination, and it involved taking significant risks. Of course, things did not always go as planned, but despite several close calls, we were successful in all of our attempts to infiltrate the ships while evading round-the-clock security patrols.”
Extensive photos and information on this extraordinary photoset here.
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