NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Saratoga left its port in Rhode Island on Thursday for its final journey to Texas, where it will be scrapped.
The ship departed Naval Station Newport and made its way down Narragansett Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. It is heading to the Esco Marine ship recycling plant in Brownsville, Texas. The Saratoga was supposed to leave Wednesday, but the voyage was postponed because of concern that storms were developing along the route.
Esco Marine is being paid a penny by the Navy to dispose of the Saratoga. It plans to make money by selling what it recovers from the ship.
"It's a sad day in a way to see a great lady finish her career by being towed off to be scrapped," said Bill Sheridan, who was involved in the effort to try to save the ship by turning it into a museum.
Tugs arrived at the station at about 6 a.m. Thursday and the lines that had held the carrier to the pier for 16 years were cut. The carrier passed under Newport's Claiborne Pell Bridge and by Fort Adams at midmorning, where people had gathered to watch it go. The trip is expected to take about 16 days.
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