The Southwest Marine Shipyard is located in San Diego, California and has been a ship repair facility since it was purchased from Bethlehem Steel. In 2005, Southwest Marine Shipyard became a subsidiary of BAE Systems, a premier global defense and aerospace company. Since then, Southwest Marine Shipyard has been a prosperous ship repair company.

Southwest Marine Shipyard History

Southwest Marine Shipyard was originally owned and operated by Bethlehem Steel Corporation, which used the shipyard to construct and repair ships for the U.S. Navy. The shipyard’s workers were very efficient. In fact, at their peak, they repaired and returned two vessels a day. In 1981, the decline in steel production forced Bethlehem Steel Corporation to sell the shipyard to Southwest Marine Shipyard.

Southwest Marine Shipyard Facility and Function  

Southwest Marine Shipyard occupies 28 acres in San Diego, California. The shipyard contains five piers with 2,800 feet of pier repair space. The shipyard also contains a wide variety of on-shore and floating cranes which can service any vessel type.

Currently, Southwest Marine Shipyard assists in the development of an advanced defense system for BAE Systems (Southwest Marine Shipyard’s parent company). Southwest Marine Shipyard also serves commercial clients by constructing and repairing cruise ships, tankers and research vessels. Southwest Marine Shipyard services include:

  • Painting
  • Grit blasting
  • AC/DC repair and installation
  • Pipe fitting
  • Renovations.

Asbestos Exposure at Southwest Marine Shipyard  

Unfortunately, many Southwest Marine Shipyard workers may have been exposed to asbestos while repairing and constructing ships. Until the late 1970s, asbestos, a fire and water resistant mineral, was extensively used in ship construction and repair. For example, asbestos was used for fireproofing insulation for numerous ship components, including:

  • Boilers
  • Steam pipes
  • Hot water pipes
  • Incinerators
  • Pumps

Asbestos is extremely dangerous when its fibers are released from asbestos containing materials and inhaled. When inhaled, asbestos fibers remain lodged in the lungs causing severe and fatal diseases including:

  • Mesothelioma (a rare cancer that affects the lining surrounding the lungs and other organs)
  • Asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal, stomach, colon, or rectum cancer

Southwest Marine Shipyard workers were exposed to high asbestos levels at the shipyard. The workers constantly removed and disturbed asbestos containing materials, releasing toxic asbestos fibers into the air. Unaware of the dangers of asbestos exposure, Southwest Marine Shipyard employees worked in poorly ventilated buildings without wearing protective clothing or respiratory gear.

 Asbestos Injuries at Seward Ships Drydock – Alaska

If you or a loved one worked at the Southwest Marine Shipyard and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, please contact our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation to assess your legal options.

Published November 17, 2011 by