Chaff Launch

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stuck on Stupid: USS North Carolina (BB-55) is now "a building whose shape [and coloring] resembles a ship"

BB-55_NorthCarolina

Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry. From here:
Plans to allow overnight camping on the Battleship North Carolina may be scuttled because of the cost of making the 66-year-old warship memorial safer.

The Battleship North Carolina Commission, an 18-member group that manages the ship, has tried for several years to add camping for scouts and other groups as part of a $1.6 million renovation. The commission planned to add accommodations for 175 people below the main deck.

But state-mandated safety measures -- including a new exit ramp and sensitive fire detectors -- may be too expensive, said Norwood E. Bryan of Fayetteville, the commission's chairman.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it [the commission] abandons plans for overnight camping for financial reasons," Bryan said.
***
During World War II, the ship carried its crew of about 2,300 sailors into Naval battles throughout the Pacific. It was decommissioned in 1947 and was scheduled to be scrapped when state leaders organized a campaign that brought it to Wilmington in 1961.

The commission wanted to allow camping programs like those available on at least 14 former warships, including the USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C. Scheu said camping would help the battleship generate much-needed revenue. He said annual attendance dropped about 24,000 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as people cut back on travel.

About 190,000 people toured the ship during the last fiscal year, up slightly from the 188,000 the previous year, Scheu said.

Agencies that enforce state building codes and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act questioned the safety of people who would be sleeping in unfamiliar space. The N.C. Department of Insurance determined that the 728-foot-ship is considered "a building whose shape [and coloring] resembles a ship."

ncar1941
Good enough for Grandpa to sail into harm's way, but now that it's a building ...

Sometimes the law is an ass.

USS North Carolina Memorial infor here. Ship history here.
ncar1942

Update: More pictures of this beautiful ship - er -"building" here. Update2: Don't miss the photos here, either, especially if you want to know how to build a battleship... NAVSEA might want to take a look.

Update3: Of course, if we wanted the little darlings to have the full Navy experience, we could set up fire watches (scroll down, it's there), sounding and security patrols, an OOD and a CDO instead of bothering with expensive alarms.

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