Posted Sunday, June 13, 2010
The terribly sad images at the bottom of the page speak for themselves.
We have received many requests from people to publish them as they lend a certain “closure” to the sorrowful INDEPENDENCE saga. The photos were forwarded to MaritimeMatters by James Hood, who found them on an Indian website that has since deleted them.
PLATINUM II at Gopnath. Photo and copyright Peter Knego for MidShipCentury 2010.
They are almost too surreal to be true but they do coincide with what I was able to see in person from a four mile distance off Gopnath at about the same time (March of 2010). Unfortunately, I was prevented from hiring a boat by the local authorities who guaranteed me a jail sentence (or worse) if I even tried. It was not worth the risk.
For those who might still think the ship is not in such a state, there are Indian television news reports that show PLATINUM II down by the stern, prior to the hull splitting. The break, which is similar to that of the AMERICAN STAR (ex AMERICA at Fuerteventura), could easily have been caused by the hull resting on an uneven surface, the stress of the 30 foot tidal variance and the extremely strong currents in the Gulf of Cambay. In any case, if I am wrong and these are Photoshopped images, the perpetrator was highly skilled and went through great pains to dupe us. But I do not think I am wrong.
I would like to give credit to the photographer but do not know who he or she is.
PLATINUM II will be scrapped on the spot. Guards have since been posted on board and a large crane is reputedly alongside to begin the demolition.
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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