As I mentioned in Part 2 and Part 1 of my ongoing story of the Sea Shadow (IX-529) I had the pleasure of documenting both the shadows of what were and the scrapping of the Sea Shadow. Today is the ending of this series for now, the Scrapping of the IX-529 was truly one of the most fascinating and horrific experiences I’ve ever gotten to witness. During this time the Sea Shadow went from a stealth ship to a pile of scrap steel. The journey wasn’t was without it’s trials, dangers, and near catastrophic events, but eventually the requirements of the sale that she be scrapped was eventually meant!
Once the scrapping came to loading the excavators on board the Sea Shadow quickly surcame to their destructive powers. But before that happened, the good old fashioned manual labor was scrapping her apart!
The engine room turned into a desolate wasteland reeking of diesel and often flooded with rain water after they diesel generators were removed, requiring a massive hole to be cut into the side of the Sea Shadow.
After the excavators began their destruction it was only a matter of time before the engine room more closely resembled a hole.
A Brief Timeline of the Demolition
May 4, 2012 The Sea Shadow auction on GSA Auctions closes the $295 million dollar Sea Shadow and the $150 million dollar sea Shadow sell for a measly $2.5 million. The winner, Bay Ship and Yacht in Alameda, CA. The intent is to reuse the HMB-1 as a commercial dry dock.
October 9th and 10th, 2012 Both motors and their hydraulic pumps are removed for sale.
October 15th thru 28th, 2012 A massive hole is cut into the side of the Sea Shadow, and both massive generators are removed.
November 7, 2012 The “grim reapers” arrive in the morning and begin chewing their way through the stern of the Sea Shadow
November 14, 2012 The Sea Shadow falls forward hitting dry dock floor, leaving the ship at a steep angle. Amazingly she is still structurally very stable.
By scrapping the forward part of the ship, they were able to re-level her and the scrapping continued full speed.
November 26, 2012 Too much material was removed from the underside, leaving the spine unsupported, eventually gravity took over and the Sea Shadow bent at the massive hole cut to remove the engines.
November 27, 2012 Only a day later the dead was done, the Sea Shadow was scrapped and the steel was sent off to the smelter to be reused.
The Tipsy Shadow
The adventure continued on board and walking on the Shadow became even more hazardous.
A Few More
Before anyone knew what was going on, just as quietly as the Sea Shadow began, it ended in a few loud crushing blows.