SURVEYOR'S NOTEBOOK

Historic Vessel Redux

By Rik van Hemmen

Occasionally we draw attention to ships that are historically significant. Sometimes it seems like we are simply whistling into a storm. Ship preservation costs money and undoubtedly it is a difficult discussion to decide which vessels are worthy of preservation and which should be, at best, turned, into artificial reefs, but, overall, our country is shamefully negligent in providing even minimal support towards a rational approach in historic vessel preservation.

My brother, Pim van Hemmen, an award winning commercial photographer, has decided to take a somewhat different approach in enriching the discussion with his In Extremis project.

He figures that when he travels the country on other assignments that some top notch photos of those ships that signify our rich maritime heritage might just help us understand what we were, what we are, and what really makes this country as powerful as it is.

His photos show that just a few dollars out of our national heritage budget are well spent towards the preservation of some of the primary tools that resulted in the wealth we enjoy today.

If you visit the website you can even vote by simply hitting the “like” buttons on the vessels that appear worthy of preservation to you and possibly it will draw attention to those vessels that need help first. If you look closely, you can see that I myself do not think every vessel needs to be preserved, but some are truly too significant to disappear.

Enjoy, and if and when you get to corner your elected representatives for a few minutes, don’t forget to remind them that in maritime a few dollars go a long way in making us all richer.

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