Decaying drydock China-bound for disposal

The U.S. Coast Guard is enforcing a 500-foot safety zone around a massive drydock located just off San Francisco’s eastern shore as crews prepare the dock to be loaded onto a seafaring vessel and shipped to China for recycling.

The Port of San Francisco’s Drydock 1, weighing in at about 4,200 tons and measuring 584-feet long and 128-feet wide, will be shipped to a green certified recycling facility near Shanghai, China, according to Coast Guard officials.

According to a 2007 Port of San Francisco assessment of the drydock’s marine, structural and environmental issues, the drydock “shows evidence of severe deterioration and poor maintenance.”

Prior to the removal of the drydock, the assessment found the drydock to contain asbestos, high levels of copper and lead, as well as polychlorinated biphenyl or PCBs.

Today, the drydock is being lifted out of the water and onto the oceangoing vessel to be transported to China.

The seafaring vessel will partially submerge itself so that the drydock can be floated over the vessel’s cargo deck.

The vessel will then get rid of water, becoming more buoyant and lift the cargo out of the water to complete the lift operation.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, after a couple days of sea fastening, the vessel will depart for the recycling facility near Shanghai on Tuesday.