Navy oiler ends service at recycling yard in Amelia
By ZACHARY FITZGERALD
AMELIA, La. — The USS Merrimack AO-179 of the U.S. Navy made its way to the dock at Southern Recycling on Wednesday, completing its final voyage before being recycled.
The 708-foot Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler was towed by Tug Elsbeth III, operated by Smith Marine Towing in Amelia, from the James River Reserve Fleet in Virginia to Amelia, according to Southern Recycling vice president for marine operations Randy Boudreaux.
The vessel was completed on July 16, 1979, at Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans. It was decommissioned on Dec. 18, 1998.
The Southern Recycling yard in Amelia is one of several yards the company has that have been qualified by the U.S. Maritime Administration to perform the recycling of government assets, Boudreaux said.
The USS Merrimack (AO-179) is the first maritime vessel to be recycled for the Maritime Administration at the Amelia yard, Boudreaux said.
The recycling of the vessel will take several months removing any hazardous materials before the recycling of the metal begins, Boudreaux said.