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Drone captures footage of abandoned ghost ships off coast of Virginia

Emerald Pellot
·2-min read

Drone pilot Joshua M. Allen shared remarkable footage of abandoned “ghost ships” off the coast of Virginia on his Instagram.

The so-called “ghost ships of Kiptopeke” were previously used to form a breakwater, a structure near coastlines to protect harbors, anchorage or marina basin from waves. In the case of these nine abandoned boats, they were placed to protect a ferry port where passenger ships transported people across the Chesapeake Bay to Virginia Beach and Norfolk. The ferry dock is gone but the ships, made of concrete, still attract wildlife and curious kayakers today.

“[I was] in Virginia at the shoreline attempting to fly almost one mile out into the ocean to get some rare and beautiful footage of the amazing ghost ships,” Allen told Newsflare.

The drone sored over a row of massive ships. Each one is a ghostly white, covered in debris, with small areas of visible rust. At one point, birds dispersed from the vessels making the scene even eerier on the overcast day.

“We experienced high winds off the ocean this day and the amount of birds made it extremely difficult to get this type of stabilized footage,” Allen told Newsflare. “Sometimes risking it all is the only way we get the footage we want and what an epic finish to this epic day!”

The vessels were made during the steel shortage of World War II. The U.S. Maritime Commission granted a contract to McClosky & Company, which made the boats out of concrete instead. Eventually, a few were transported to Kiptopeke in 1949 for the breakwater. But when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was created in 1964, the ferry dock became obsolete. Now the ghost ships remain as tokens of a bygone era.

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