Atlantic Dry Dock – Florida
In 1966, Atlantic Marine Inc. established the Atlantic Dry Dock as a shipbuilding site for the U.S. Navy and commercial contractors. The Atlantic Dry Dock sits on an 81 acre lot at the junction of the St. John’s River and the Intracoastal Waterway in Jacksonville, Florida. The Atlantic Dry Dock’s strategic location allows customers to access the shipyard from both the Atlantic and Caribbean Oceans.
For many years, the Atlantic Dry Dock facility worked very closely with Atlantic Marine Inc. to build a variety of marine vessels. During this time, the Atlantic Dry Dock incorporated new technology into its operations, including a 4,000-ton marine railway facility and improved launchways, which enabled the Atlantic Dry Dock to service many industries. The Atlantic Dry Dock facility also included a large floating dry dock, full service piers, cranes with mobile capabilities, and over 135,000 sq. ft. of shops with modern equipment and machinery.
Today, the Atlantic Dry Dock focuses mainly on ship repair, rather than ship construction. The Atlantic Dry Dock prides itself on offering a number of repair services to both commercial and military vessels, including:
- steel fabrication
- industrial and marine fabrication
- mega yacht refitting
- wheelabrator services
- ship assembly
Asbestos & the Atlantic Dry Dock
The Atlantic Dry Dock was built several years before the dangers of asbestos exposure were realized, and asbestos was used extensively in the Atlantic Dry Dock’s shipyard operations. As a result, Atlantic Dry Dock shipyard workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos for long periods of time. From this prolonged asbestos exposure, many Atlantic Dry Dock shipyard employees have recently developed serious and potentially fatal diseases.
Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was considered an ideal material for ship repair at the Atlantic Dry Dock because of its fireproofing ability and resistance to heat and corrosion. Asbestos was used in various locations throughout the Atlantic Dry Dock, including:
- Electrical and plumbing insulation
- Steam pipe
- Welding blankets
- Building insulation
Because shipyard workers at the Atlantic Dry Dock were unaware of the dangers associated with asbestos, they worked freely with the material. When ships containing asbestos are repaired, asbestos fibers can become airborne. In the tight, poorly ventilated areas of ships, airborne asbestos fibers are likely to be inhaled. 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 a number of other organs
Although government regulations now restrict the use of asbestos, asbestos-caused diseases can take decades to surface. Consequently many former Atlantic Dry Dock shipyard workers are just now beginning to develop these diseases. In addition, current Atlantic Dry Dock shipyard workers are still at risk for asbestos exposure because older ships may still contain asbestos.
Asbestos Injuries at the Atlantic Dry Dock – Florida
If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, alert your physician immediately. Authorities have estimated that nearly 100,000 shipyard workers, including some from the Atlantic Dry Dock, have died from asbestos-related diseases. In recent years, numerous companies have been the targets of lawsuits brought by shipyard workers who were injured by asbestos exposure at work.
If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos at the Atlantic Dry Dock, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal rights.