Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Sea traffic in New York Harbor is common, but one large freighter caught the attention of motorists. If you were driving on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or BQE, you might have seen a strange sight: a sinking ship. But is that really what you saw? Yes…and no. With the deck of the ship fully under water, it looked as though the ship was going under. Despite appearances, however, the Dockwise Swan lived up to its name and was merely doing what it was designed to do. The sight of such a massive vessel taking a dip in the harbor was still amazing.
Heavy Transport Vessel SwanAs some were dialing 911 to report a sinking ship. The open-deck heavy transport and product carrier is actually "semi-submersible," which means that it can lower its deck to below water level to pick up and drop off cargo. "Float-on/float-off" loading and unloading are possible because of 50 ballast tanks that can be filled and emptied to lower and raise the deck of the massive vessel. Cargo capacity for a ship like this includes up to 25,000 tons on its 126.8x31.6 meter deck. There is no word yet on what the Swan's mission was. Dockwise operates a fleet of 15 semi-submersible vessels worldwide, moving yachts and serving the oil and gas industries.