History of the Duwamish Shipyard

The Duwamish Shipyard was a repair center for many types of ships located in Seattle, Washington. The Duwamish Shipyard was established by Anksel Larsen in 1939 on the west shore of the Duwamish River. The Duwamish Shipyard serviced the Seattle, Washington area for 68 years servicing close to 60 vessels every year. The Duwamish Shipyard specialized in the service repair of:

  • Tug boats
  • Fishing vessels
  • Passenger ferries
  • Pleasure crafts
  • Industrial barges 

At its peak, the Duwamish Shipyard employed 200 workers. Repair services included pressure washing, pipe fitting, grit blasting, steel fabrication, and work on ship machinery. Until the Duwamish Shipyard closed on April 1st 2007, the shipyard was renowned for its quality service and labor. 

Asbestos & the Duwamish Shipyard

A large number of Duwamish Shipyard workers are at risk of suffering from serious health complications from asbestos exposure. For years, asbestos material was used extensively in daily Duwamish Shipyard operations. Because of its ability to resist corrosion and withstand high temperatures, asbestos was ideal for ship repair. Asbestos was also used as an insulator to fireproof ships.  At the Duwamish Shipyard, the following ship components and products contained asbestos:

  • Boilers
  • Turbines
  • Electrical and plumbing insulation
  • Pumps
  • Steam pipe
  • Incinerators
  • Gaskets
  • Valves
  • Floor and ceiling tiles
  • Welding blankets
  • Building insulation

Unfortunately, Duwamish Shipyard workers were continuously exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. When asbestos materials are manipulated, asbestos fibers may become airborne. When inhaled, asbestos fibers can become lodged in the lungs or protective lining surrounding the body’s organs and cause severe and fatal health problems. Asbestos can cause Mesothelioma, a cancer of this protective lining that may remain asymptomatic for years. Other asbestos diseases include asbestosis and many serious cancers. Authorities estimate that over 100,000 shipyard workers have died from asbestos-related diseases including those who worked for the Duwamish Shipyard.

If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to alert your physician right away. An early diagnosis may help better manage these serious diseases. In recent years, many industrial shipyard companies have been the targets of lawsuits brought by shipyard workers injured by asbestos exposure. Shipyard workers affected by asbestos exposure have turned to experienced asbestos lawyers for help.

Asbestos Injuries at Duwamish Shipyard – Washington

If you or a loved one worked at the Duwamish Shipyard and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, please contact us today to assess your legal rights.

Published November 17, 2011 by