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Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2010 by

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.

Peter Knego

170 Responses to Sad EndEPENDENCE

  1. Kenenth Eden

    February 18, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Here is a piece of Hollywood that is a banal as a peach, and as memorable as a treasured memory.

    The old movie “An Affair to Remember”, the mid-century version with Cary Grant and Deborah Carr

    There are several exterior shots of the SS INDEPENDENCE taken at sea, worth the time and viewing for any ship lover. (the story is a tear jerker, and the interiors seem to be a back lot set interpretation). Anyway, this is a remembrance of the great CONNIE.

  2. Griff Carey

    February 22, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Was there any more news on her salvage? Is she still there? I had heard that she would be a problem in the shipping lanes. I have searched all over and it seems that no one has any further info on her. I would think that someone would have something.

  3. Kenenth Eden

    February 22, 2013 at 8:45 am

    For anyone that misses the beautiful CONNIE, if unaware of this, it is a nice reminder of her extrior

    An Affait to Remember, starring Cary Grant and deborah Carr, circa 1954 movie = movie hyped as “tear jerker” for story line, lots of tissues may be needed!

    Wonderful scenes of the ship at sea

  4. Hank

    February 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I actually got to see photographs of the INDY interiors and exteriors during her stay in San Francisco. I guess someone got to go aboard.

  5. Jay

    July 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    You can look up on Google Earth, 10 miles Southeast of Alang, India, and see a white blur on the ocean. That’s her, but Google won’t focus in on the ship probably due to the friction that would be caused by the people that loved the SS Independence. I cruised on her in 1999 around the Hawaii Islands. May she RIP.

  6. R Imenu

    August 9, 2013 at 4:22 am

    As a former crew member I am a little heartbroken. I have a log of my days on board – a lot happens to a guy on a ship – unforgettable So long Indy!

  7. Darrell Coxwell

    August 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I was also a crew member on the conti and the indy, in the late 1980’s. I think it is very sad for both ships.

  8. RADM Frank Johnston

    October 22, 2013 at 10:32 am

    As the last non-crew member to sail on the INDY, am wondering what happen to her after grounding on sand bar!!

  9. Sal Scannella

    October 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Sailed on the Independence in 1959 roundtrip from NY to Naples with my mother and sister to meet my Italian Grandmother and all my relatives.

    I was 12 at the time. What wonderful memories. Have 8mm movies of the crossing that I converted to DVD. My first Ocean Liner voyage. I now have sailed on over 100 trips thanks to being hooked by that first experience on the wonderful Independence of American Export Lines.

  10. freddy stephens

    January 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Honeymooned on the Indy in 97. Still have a bottle of wine with her logo and our room key. What memories! Great place for a honeymoon and great memories of sailing around Hawaii.

  11. Brandon Devlin

    May 12, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Well, no point in trying to save her anymore, her back is broken. it’s such a shame, I hope this doesn’t happen to the SS United States.

  12. Victor Tommarchi

    August 8, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    My father Gus, was Wine Steward in First Class from 1951 to 1968.
    He was always proud of this ship and would come home and tell of his experiences on board, and of ports of call.
    One that comes to mind is during a 15 day cruise in the Caribbean, they encountered Hurricane Edna.
    My father said it was the worst weather he’d ever encountered, but boasted how well the s/s Independence did as she battled the angry seas. The ships daily news letter confirmed the waves they’d encountered were in the range of 90 feet tall.
    My father kept the newsletter clipping in his wallet till the day he died, as proof that this was just one of the many experienced he’d encountered in his 53 years at sea.
    He was very proud of this ship,….Frankly, I’m just pleased that he can’t see her now.

  13. Corey Abelove

    August 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    This is sad indeed. I remember being a part of the back and forth between the USCG (who gave the Indy a seaworthiness inspection that was required for her to be towed out of San Francisco), along with Jim Puckett and Colby Self from the Basel Action Network, and Eric James. We waged a relentless campaign to have the ship forcibly returned to U.S. waters, on the grounds of it being an illegal export under the Toxic Substances Control Act. In the end she made it to Alang, but its owner upon export, GMS, was fined around $500,000.00 by the EPA for violating the TSCA. Cases like this are an international problem, and can only be solved through international cooperation.

  14. Corey Abelove

    August 30, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    To clarify, the Toxic Substances Control Act violation was due to the known amounts of PCB’s that were used in the construction of the SS Independence, and still onboard at the time she was unlawfully exported outside of the United States. Toxic substances, such as PCB’s, were commonly used in marine construction at the time the SS Independence was built.

  15. Don B.

    November 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on this great ship. We went first class all the way. Our room had a glass ceiling. We were remarried by the captain. It is one of favorite photo albums. This was also our first cruise. It was great cruising to 5 of the Hawaiian islands. This ship will always have a special place in our hearts.

  16. Griff Carey

    December 9, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Has there been any update, pictures or any information on her? I would think being broken away from land would have something? Thank you.

  17. Ed Lewis

    December 11, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I would also be very interested to know if there have been any updates to her. Still there? Dismantled? A sad end to a proud career. Think the Constitution had a more fitting burial.

  18. Peter Knego

    December 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Eventually scrapped on the spot. –Peter

  19. Paul Dexter

    June 6, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    My family and I sailed on the INDY in 1962, from New York harbor to Naples, on our way to my dad’s 2-year Army assignment in Teheran, Iran. It was a 10-day cruise that I will never forget; I was only 12 years old. I had a serious crush on a girl during the cruise which fueled my sentiments for the ship and the time spent on it. It’s painful to look at the photos, seeing many of the spots where I stood enjoying the ocean view. We made many stops (e. g. Casablanca, Gibraltor, Algiers). As a young artist, I enjoy drawing pictures of the ship from postcards and photos, some of which I still have. Rest in peace INDY and thank you for being part of some of the best days of my life.

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