Off West Seattle shores: USS Independence, scrapyard-bound

(Reader photo – thanks! – from Upper Alki, added 1:34 pm)

1:05 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s messaging us that an aircraft carrier, under tow, is visible right now from Beach Drive, even through the murk. It’s the decommissioned-since-1998 USS Independence, headed for the scrapyard. We’re off to try for a photo.

1:30 PM: It’s now passing south Bainbridge, more clearly in view from Constellation Park south of Alki Point. Just over two and a half years ago, another decommissioned carrier, the USS Constellation, passed West Seattle shores while also on its way to a Texas scrapyard.

1:40 PM: According to, the orange tug is the 348-foot Dino Chouest. The Lindsey Foss is also shown as being with the Independence (which itself does not show on MT). Visible from Alki Beach now, and picking up speed.

(WSB photo from west end of Alki Beach Park)

According to the Kitsap Sun, the USS Kitty Hawk is now the only inactive aircraft carrier remaining in Bremerton, and it’s being kept in reserve until the USS Gerald R. Ford is in service (likely later this year).

11 Replies to "Off West Seattle shores: USS Independence, scrapyard-bound"

  • Joanne March 11, 2017 (1:17 pm)

    I caught a hazy picture from my yard.

    • WSB March 11, 2017 (1:26 pm)

      Thanks! Even with our “good” camera, it’s pretty murky, but we’re about to add what we saw from Emma Schmitz Overlook. And we’re proceeding on to Constellation Park for a closer view.

  • Gary Jones March 11, 2017 (1:47 pm)

    A couple more photos from Alki Point  –

    • WSB March 11, 2017 (1:57 pm)

      Thank you!

  • Pete Rico March 11, 2017 (4:05 pm)

    Anyone know the approximate transit time or arrival date in Brownsville, Tx.

    • WSB March 11, 2017 (4:18 pm)

      4 1/2 months, according to this story from Brownsville last year:

    • dsa March 11, 2017 (5:52 pm)

      The Kitsap Sun article says:  “The 16,000-mile tow around South America usually takes 4 ½ months as the
      aircraft carriers are too large to fit through the Panama Canal. Using a
      towing ship instead of a tug this time is expected to cut the time to
      about two months.”

    • Louise Morris March 13, 2017 (4:40 pm)

      my brother is one of the crew on the towing vessel, he said around mid June. 

  • de humphries March 11, 2017 (4:55 pm)

    The USS Independance passed us here in Port Ludlow about 20 min. ago with both tugs in sight.

  • Jason Bartz March 12, 2017 (10:11 am)

    From what I understand, it’s supposed to take only 2.5 to 3 months to get to Brownsville, compared to the Connie and Ranger because they contracted a larger tug to bring Indy there. So sad to see her go. She was my home for two years.

  • Neal Dauzat March 14, 2017 (10:53 am)

    I was on board her in 1988 when she went around the horn under her own power, hate to see her go….I wonder if they will let anyone go see her before the destruction begins..

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