Monday, April 28, 2014

News site reviews stories, government records related to shipbreaking

More on foreign shipbreaking:

“MuckRock is a collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze & share government documents, making politics more transparent and democracies more informed.

The site provides a repository of hundreds of thousands of pages of original government materials, information on how to file requests, and tools to make the requesting process easier. In addition, MuckRock staff and outside contributors do original reporting and analysis of many of the documents received through the site.

MuckRock's unique form of investigative and accountability journalism has been recognized by the Sunlight Foundation, The Freedom of the Press Foundation, and hundreds of local and national news outlets for its groundbreaking work in areas such as government spending, surveillance, and public safety.

In addition, MuckRock works with journalists to help conceive, pursue, and publish original stories on issues that matter with exclusive primary materials obtained via public records law.” -- Source:

The site is currently reviewing several stories and issues related to shipbreaking and ship disposal by the U.S. Government. One project is revisiting various Pulitzer Prize winning stories, including the 1997 story in the Baltimore Sun about the shipbreaking operations at Alang Beach, Gujarat, India.

The Sun link is here:

Some of the materials posted on the MuckRock site are related to the U.S. Navy and its practice of disposing of retired vessels through live-fire SINKEX evolutions.

In the past, retired Coast Guard cutters have been used as SINKEX targets. These include another legendary USCG Queen of the Fleet, the CGC CAMPBELL (WHEC-32), sunk off Hawaii on Nov. 29, 1984. Others include the 180-foot Seagoing Buoy Tenders USCGC Clover (WLB-292), sunk as a target on June 26, 1990, USCGC Evergreen (WLB-295), sunk as a target on Nov. 25, 1992 and USCGC BLACKHAW (WLB-390) sunk off Puerto Rico in June 1997.

There are also outstanding FOIA requests for contracts with ESCO Marine, a major shipbreaker in Brownsville, TX. While not related to the FOIA request, ESCO is the yard where the USCGC GLACIER (WAGB-4) ended her existence after attempts to save that ship as a museum failed, in no small part thanks to government corruption.

The links through MuckRock are here:

While the MuckRock organization is not directly involved with the FOIA requests related to STORIS and her destruction, the people affiliated with the site have been apprised of the situation and the materials generated through my efforts will be shared with them.

(Originally posted April 24, 2014)

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