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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

SS Cape Fear (AK-5061)

Lighter Aboard Ship (LASH) Barge Carrier:
  • Laid down in 1971 as SS LASH Espania a Maritime Administration type (C9-S-81d) hull under Maritime Administration contract (MA 230) at Avondale Industries Corp., New Orleans, LA.
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Delivered to the Maritime Administration, 28 April 1971, for operation by Prudential Line
  • Named changed to SS Austral Lightning, date unknown
  • Reacquired by the Maritime Administration for assignment to the Ready Reserve Fleet (RRF), 13 May 1985
  • SS Cape Fear was berthed at Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA. as part of the Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Fleet
  • When activated SS Cape Fear (AK-5061) was assigned to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) as one of the Military Sealift Command's four LASH Ready Reserve Force Ships
  • Cape Fear could be activated in 10 days
  • Removed from MSC control, withdrawn from the RRF by reassignment to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, 28 July 2006
    Displacement 33,000 t.(lt) 44,250 t.(fl)
    Length 820'
    Beam 100'
    Draft 35' (max.)
    Speed 18.7 kts.
    Cargo Capacity assigned 73 barges
    Full Operating Status Complement 31 Civilian Mariners
    Propulsion steam turbine, single propeller

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    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    Cape Fear 207k SS Austral Lightning underway in a New Zealand port, date and location unknown.
    Photo from the Chris Howell Collection
    Chris Howell, Southland Ship Stores Limited, Port of Bluff, N.Z.
    SS Cape Fear (AK-5061) - MARAD RRF
    Cape Fear

    Cape Fear - is a prominent headland jutting into the Atlantic Ocean from Bald Head Island on the coast of North Carolina in the southeastern United States. It is largely formed of barrier beaches and the silty outwash of the Cape Fear River as it drains the southeast coast of North Carolina through an estuary south of Wilmington. Cape Fear is formed by the intersection of two sweeping arcs of shifting, low-lying beach, the result of longshore currents which also form the treacherous, shifting Frying Pan Shoals, part of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. (Wikipedia)
    Photo - NASA satellite photo, showing the estuary of the Cape Fear River
    Map - showing the Cape Fear River drainage basin. Kmusser, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
    Tommy Trampp
    Cape Fear 68k SS Cape Fear (AK-5061) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    MSC web site
    Cape Fear 71k SS Cape Fear (AK-5061) moored in her berth at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., January 2014. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Cape Fear
    46k SS Cape Fear (AK-5061) moored in her berth at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., date unknown.
    U.S. Maritime Administration photo
    Robert Hurst

    There is no DANFS history available for Cape Fear (T-AK-5061) at NavSource
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 18 August 2023