A reader recently commented on a news report about rusting fuel tanks in sunken vessels off our coasts. Following are several quotations from the article, "WWII Shipwrecks Could Threaten U.S. Coast," published in the Baltimore Sun, July 8, 2011. (You can read the entire article here:
"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking an inventory of more than 30,000 coastal shipwrecks — some of them casualties of the 1942 Battle of the Atlantic — and identifying those that pose the most significant threat....
"...Part of NOAA's task has been to comb through ship manifests, naval records, reports of sinkings, insurance documents and survivors' accounts to determine which ships burned and which probably went down with their fuel and cargo.
"From that, the agency can work to identify those posing the greatest risk of leaking, and those offering opportunities for salvage operations to recover the oil or other cargo before it becomes a costly spill."
I am aware of no leaking fuel tanks off the coast of North Carolina. Although there is no cause for alarm at this time, there is cause for concern. Of course, we hope NOAA is successful in identifying, locating, and salvaging sunken fuel and cargo before problems arise.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a modern day ghost tale, "Ode to Mrs. Godfrey," by guest columnist Tom McDonald. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062111.htm.