Today, the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga began its voyage to ESCO Marine where her 59,000 tons of steel will be recycled. Signet Maritime‘s offshore towing vessel the Signet Warhorse III is handling the tow on the Saratoga‘s final journey.
The Signet Warhorse III is a 143’5″x50’x18′ ABS fully classed 10,000-hp tug with 135.44 MT bollard pull. The tow originated in Newport, R.I., and end in Brownsville, Texas. The voyage will take an estimated 15 days maintaining a speed of 6 knots and traveling a total of 2,120 nautical miles.
The Navy awarded ESCO Marine of Brownsville, Texas, the contract for the disassembling and recycling of the carrier and during this time, the aircraft carrier is still owned by the Navy with ESCO taking ownership of the scrap metal during the dismantling.
The tug’s nine-person crew departed Signet’s ocean transport base in Port Fourchon, La., on Aug. 5, completing a Major Project Risk Assessment (MPRA) upon arrival. Signet Warhorse III is expected to arrive in Brownsville, Texas, with USS Saratoga in tow, on Sept. 4.
The USS Saratoga served more than 38 years in the Navy. The carrier’s aircraft flew sorties in the Vietnam War, in Operation Desert Shield and over the states of the former Yugoslavia in 1992. Throughout its four decades of service, more than 60,000 sailors served on its decks, with roughly 5,000 at any given time.