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VIDEO: Eerie drone footage of abandoned “ghost ships” off Virginia coast

PortandTerminal.com, October 9, 2020

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – The availability and affordability of high-quality drones is allowing photographers and video editors to give us amazing new views of our maritime world.

A drone pilot has captured amazing footage of abandoned “ghost ships”, aka The Concrete Fleet, off the coast of Virginia.

The first person view operated drone footage shows a series of concrete ships close to the Kiptopeke shore.

The Concrete Fleet, also known as the Kiptopeke Breakwater, consists of several concrete ships lined end to end just west of the former Chesapeake Bay ferry terminal.

Abandoned concrete ships
Bow of SS Slater. Photo: Matt Flowers

The crumbling hulks consist of 9 of the 24 concrete ships contracted by the U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II. In 1948 the ships were brought to Kiptopeke Beach in order to bring protection to the terminal during severe weather. Once arranged, their bilge-cocks were opened to bring on water and they were left to settle on the bottom of the Bay. 

Drone pilot Joshua M Allen told Newsflare: “[I was] in Virginia at the shoreline attempting to fly almost one mile out into the ocean to get some rare and beautiful footage of the amazing ghost ships.

“We experienced high winds off the ocean this day and the amount of birds made it extremely difficult to get this type of stabilized footage.

“Sometimes risking it all is the only way we get the footage we want and what an epic finish to this epic day!”

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