Shipwrecks lying deep off America’s coasts are more often historical artifacts than present-day threats from leaking old oil tanks, a new federal report says.
While 87 of the ships – most sunk during World War II by German submarines – have the potential to leak tens of millions of gallons of oil, the report issued Monday concludes that “the scope of the problem is much more manageable than initially feared.”
“Our coastlines are not littered with ‘ticking time bombs,’” government scientists wrote. They note that only six of the 87 are likely to be serious enough to be disasters to local economies and coastlines, the report said.
Still the wrecks are hulking reminders of lost lives in war and the environmental mess of oil, especially to Frank Terry, who experienced them firsthand.