A bunch of supertankers have been launched within the late seventies. But by 1980, constructing had come to a halt. The financial circumstances that led to the rise of those seagoing behemoths disappeared because the Suez Canal reopened and oil costs plummeted. Most of the growing older tankers have been regularly dismantled and offered for scrap.
In 1981 the Seawise Giant turned the longest ship ever constructed. It was the biggest shifting man-made object on the planet. From stern to bow the ship was longer than the Empire State Building’s peak. The ship spanned 1,504 ft (458.45 mt) and had a staggering gross tonnage of 260,941 GT.
The tanker was ordered in 1974 and delivered in 1979 by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, at its Oppama shipyard in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan, as a 418,611-ton Ultra Large Crude Carrier (ULCC).
The tanker didn’t get off to the rosiest of begins. The vessel remained unnamed for a very long time, and was recognized by her hull quantity, 1016. During sea trials, 1016 exhibited extreme vibration issues whereas going astern.
A Greek transport magnate initially ordered the ship in 1979 when tanker development was booming following a decade of unrest within the oil market. He ended up not with the ability to foot the invoice when the shipyard completed development. The shipyard offered the tanker to Chinese transport kingpin C.Y. Tung, who ordered a refitting of the tanker to make it the biggest ship ever to sail. Tung then named the vessel the Seawise Giant.
Her rudder alone weighed 230 tons. She was over 1500 ft lengthy and 226 ft broad. She had a cargo capability of 564,763 deadweight tons, which by that measure made her the biggest ship on file. (The 4 French Batillus-class supertankers constructed through the 1970s had bigger gross tonnage, however Seawise Giant had a bigger absolutely loaded displacement.)
The ship was incapable of navigating the English Channel, the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal.
When she lastly launched in 1981, the Seawise Giant started making comparatively uneventful transport runs between the Middle East and the United States. The tanker had a surprisingly small crew of 40. Apart from just a few Russian junior officers, the officers, together with her captain, have been Indians. The crew was nearly solely Filipino
The literal low level within the supertanker’s historical past got here in 1988, when it turned a casualty of the Iran-Iraq War. Iraqi planes attacked an Iranian oil platform within the Strait of Hormuz within the hopes of choking off an important a part of Iran’s oil pipeline. In addition to bombing the platform, the Iraqi jets opened fireplace on 5 oil tankers anchored within the space. The Spanish tanker Barcelona listed for just a few days earlier than sinking after a secondary explosion. Hit by missiles, the Seawise Giant additionally sank. In 1989, after the Iran-Iraq War ended, a Norwegian consortium purchased the Seawise Giant’s wreckage and had her pulled from the shallow water and transported to Singapore for essential repairs.
The repairs took two years and the enormous tanker lastly entered service in October 1991 as Happy Giant.
Shortly after, the Norwegian transport tycoon Jorgen Jahre purchased the tanker for $39 million and once more renamed her, this time to the Jahre Viking. For the subsequent 13 years the Jahre Viking sailed below the Norwegian flag. But the times of big tankers rapidly ended.
In 2004, the tanker was bought by First Olsen Tankers and transformed to a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) unit at Dubai Dry Docks (UAE). Renamed as Knock Nevis the FSO was anchored on the Al Shaheen discipline for Maersk Qatar the identical 12 months.
The Knock Nevis lasted about 5 years on this job earlier than her house owners determined that the behemoth not made sense as a storage vessel. The ship’s identify was modified to Mont for a last voyage to India’s Alang-Sosiya ship-breaking yards in January 2010.
(Source: Wikipedia/Aukevisser/Interesting Engineering/uh.edu/Global Security/Mental Floss)


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