Nearly two years ago, the Cougar Ace, a 900-ft long ship loaded with more than 4,700 brand-new Mazdas, tipped over while transferring ballast in the North Pacific just south of Alaska. The huge ship took on water, but since there was no breach in the hull it remained afloat. Within days, a salvage team was called aboard to attempt a rescue of the stricken car carrier.
Listing nearly 90-degrees to one side, the massive Cougar Ace was towed and moored in Wide Bay before it was finally stabilized and nearly fully righted a month later. The ship was eventually saved, but tragically a member of the salvage team was killed during the recovery operation. While Mazda reported little damage to the vehicles on board, in December of that year it made the decision to scrap all of the vehicles that were stranded on the Cougar Ace. This month, after sitting in a huge parking lot for more than a year, 4,703 of the Cougar Ace Mazdas were dropped into a 50-foot-tall shredder in Oregon and finally destroyed.
Wired magazine just published an interesting in-depth article about the salvage operation to recover the Cougar Ace. It's a long read, but we're bloggers with the attention span of a gnat and got through it just fine.