Residents of New York, do not be alarmed. The large ship some of you spotted in the waters around the Verazzano Narrows bridge on Monday was not -- Repeat: NOT! -- sinking. The vessel's partially-submerged, SOS appearance turns out to be a feature, not a bug. Indeed, the ship was doing just was it was supposed to do: dropping off a load of dredging equipment that will be used as part of a $2.5 billion project to deepen the shipping channels that lead into metro-area ports. Jen Chung at Gothamist tracked down all the details, so we don't have to:
There are some very observant drivers on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and BQE. WCBS 2 reports that a number of drivers called 911 to report that a freighter ship was sinking in the New York Harbor. But it turns out the freighter, Dockwise Swan, is actually supposed to sink a little bit!
The ship is a "semi-submersible," and can submerge to allow cargo to be taken on or off using the "float-on/float-off," "roll-on/roll-off," "skid-on/skid-off, or "lift-on/lift-off" procedures. And the freighter can submerge because there are 50 ballast tanks.
(SIGINT courtesy of coifmo66)
UPDATE: Courtesty of gCaptain, our colleague on the high seas, comes this link to a lavish set of photos showing Dockwise float on-float-off vessels carrying all sorts of large and improbable cargo, such as this: