SS PLATINUM II (ex INDEPENDENCE) at Gopnath, May 2010. Photographer unknown.
A haunting series of images taken of the stranded and now quite visibly broken SS PLATINUM II (ex INDEPENDENCE, SEA LUCK I, OCEANIC INDEPENDENCE, OCEANIC) have been forwarded to MaritimeMatters by James Hood. Once we get the URL for the website, we will provide a link but thus far, the source is unknown. The above photo confirms what a misty, very distant shot taken in late March indicated — the ship has broken her back and will be scrapped on the spot, four to five miles off the coast of Gopnath, some 30 miles southwest of Alang on the coast of Gujarat. There are reports that a crane is now alongside and the ship was recently “looted” and now has several guards posted on board. Further news from Alang, which is inundated with ships even though the steel market is in decline: WINNER 5 (ex AUSONIA, IVORY, etc.) continues to be pulled closer to the beach as stripping is complete and cutting begins; MAESTRO (ex RENAISSANCE, BLUE MONARCH, etc.) is still at Bombay and efforts continue to sell the ship for further trading with steel prices at their current rates; scrap buyers will soon be inspecting MONA LISA (ex KUNGSHOLM, SEA PRINCESS, VICTORIA). With thanks to James Hood.
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
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