Seward Ships Drydock was originally established in Seward, Alaska in 1973. The Seward Ships Drydock shipyard operates as a repair facility and prides itself on being Alaska’s leading full service dry dock and repair center. The Seward Ships Drydock opened initially largely because of overflow demand from nearby Seattle. Successful business and an increasing workload caused the Seward Ships Drydock to move to its current location in Lowell Point, Alaska. The Seward Ships Drydock is renowned for its quality service and its capacity to service vessels of any size and type. Since the shipyard’s establishment in 1973, the Seward Ships Drydock has contributed enormously to the ship industry of the state of Alaska.

 The Seward Ships Drydock Facility

The Seward Ships Drydock continues to operate as a modern shipyard at the forefront of the newest technology in the marine industry. The Seward Ships Drydock facility sits on 11 acres and includes a 300 ton marine rail complex, a 250 ton Travelift, and a 5,000 ton Syncro-Lift. The Seward Ships Drydock specializes in all types of conversions and repair work, including:

  • fabrication
  • machine work
  • welding
  • sandblasting
  • electrical installation and repair
  • mechanical repair
  • hydraulic installation and repair

Asbestos & the Seward Ships Drydock

The Seward Ships Drydock was built in 1973, only a few years before the dangers of asbestos exposure were realized. Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was used extensively in shipyard operations at Seward Ships Drydock. Seward Ships Drydock shipyard workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos for long periods of time. In recent years, many shipyard employees have developed serious and potentially fatal diseases due to asbestos exposure.

Asbestos was considered an ideal material for ship repair because of its fireproofing ability and resistance to heat and corrosion. During the early years of the Seward Ships Drydock, the health dangers of asbestos were not entirely clear and many shipyard workers were susceptible to exposure. Employees at the Seward Ships Drydock repair facility were involved in servicing older vessels that likely contained asbestos. Asbestos was used at the Seward Ships Drydock in various areas of ships and machinery, including:

  • Boilers
  • Turbines
  • Electrical and plumbing insulation
  • Pumps
  • Steam pipes
  • Incinerators
  • Gaskets
  • Valves
  • Welding blankets
  • Building insulation

Shipyard workers at the Seward Ships Drydock did not know the dangers of asbestos and regularly worked with the asbestos materials without protection from inhaling its dangerous fibers. When ships with asbestos are repaired, there is a risk of disturbing asbestos fibers that can be become airborne. In the tight, poorly ventilated areas of ships, these asbestos fibers are likely to be inhaled by shipyard workers. Asbestos inhalation can cause cancerous growths and life threatening diseases, including:

  • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs)
  • Lung cancer
  •  Asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Cancer in other organs

Today there are government regulations restricting the use of asbestos, thereby limiting the potential for asbestos exposure. However, symptoms of asbestos diseases can take decades to surface after a person is exposed to asbestos or asbestos dust. Therefore, many shipyard workers, including those who worked at the Seward Ships Drydock, are just beginning to develop serious diseases from asbestos exposure that occurred many years ago. In addition, current Seward Ships Drydock workers are still at risk of asbestos exposure because they repair older ships that likely contain asbestos.

If you think you have been exposed to asbestos at the Seward Ships Drydock, alert your physician immediately. Authorities have estimated that nearly 100,000 shipyard workers, including workers at the Seward Ships Drydock, have died from asbestos exposure and diseases. In recent years, a number of companies have been the targets of lawsuits brought by shipyard workers injured by asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Injuries at Seward Ships Drydock – Alaska

To assess your legal rights and find out if you have a case, contact our office today to speak to a Seward Ships Drydock attorney for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Published November 17, 2011 by