Aircraft carrier to make last voyage to Brownsville

Aircraft carrier to make last voyage to Brownsville

Recycling companies at the Port of Brownsville dismantle more ships than any other port in the country.

Now one company is about to undertake the port's largest project ever.

The U.S. Navy has contracted a local scrap metal company to dismantle the U.S.S. Forrestal, a decommissioned aircraft carrier that served in the Vietnam War, where Senator John McCain once served aboard.

The U.S.S. Forrestal launched in 1954 and served the U.S. Navy for nearly 40 years.

Since it was decommissioned in 1993, it has sat in ports in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, but early next year it will make its last voyage to Brownsville.

The Navy sold the vessel to All Star Metals.

While the scrap metal company has dismantled other military vessels, president of All Star Metals, Nikhil Shah says this will be the first super carrier to move into the port of Brownsville.

"There is a lot of history and hopefully we can help preserve some of that by doing something special, Shah said.

The Navy paid All Star Metals just a penny to take it off their hands but they had to invest a lot in their infrastructure to get the contract.

There TMs a lot of costs that go with it - the towing, remediation, cleaning the vessel. We've spent millions to prepare for the aircraft carrier, Shah said.

The metal on a ship of this is worth a lot of money.

"A ship is a floating city. There TMs no Home Depot or HEB in the middle of the ocean so they have the best of the best of everything, they have as part for everything, and they have a way to repair everything, so it has a lot of materials, Shah said.

Essentially the vessel will be recycled into something else.

"They will be re-melted and made into a new product, Shah said.

While in a couple of years the carrier will be gone, Shah hopes to preserve some of its history.

"The community at large doesn't understand the value that goes with being on a vessel and serving time on the vessel, Shah said. We are trying to preserve the history of it and would love to hear from anyone who served on it and document and keep it with us." It will take about two years to dismantle the aircraft carrier.