Page 35 - Aug2017

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AUGUST 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
35
iSLAND lIFE |
bEACHCOMBING
By katherine Pollock
Lost Cargo
C
argo ships passing through the ship channel
are an amazing sight to see on the east end of
Galveston. They travel between Galveston and
Bolivar on their way to the Port of Houston
from locations around the world, and for as long
as those ships have been carrying cargo on them,
containers have been falling off during storms or
an occasional rogue wave. Everything imaginable
has washed up on beaches around the world—
Harley Davidson motorcycles, ninety thousand Nike
sneakers, ten thousand bananas, bath tub toys,
cans of coffee, and even Legos.
Beachcombers revel in finding free stuff that is still usable. When the
Nike sneakers washed up on the coastlines of Washington, Oregon,
and British Columbia, shoe seekers flocked to the beaches to find
them and swapped with other beachcombers to match them up with
the mate, since obviously the shoes did not wash up in pairs. It ended
up being a rather lucrative side job for a few people who were able to
sell the still-wearable shoes for a bargain price.
Although none of these major
spills have happened near
Galveston, the “Lost Legos”
cargo spill does have one
Galveston connection.
The year was 1997 when the
Tokio Express
was traveling with
its stack of shipping containers
near Cornwall, a county on the
southwestern tip of England.
A rogue wave caused the ship
to list and sixty-two containers
went overboard. One of those containers had 4.8 million
Legos inside, and every last one of them spilled into
the Atlantic. Appropriately, these sunken Legos were
intended for an ocean-themed box set, and the pieces
included ships’ ladders, SCUBA dive flippers, spear guns,
life preservers, pirate swords, sea grass, octopuses, and
dragons, among others.
G
a
l
v
e
s
t
o
n
The Tokio Express in 1997 after a rogue wave hit the ship
Lego pieces found on beach and put together
Ocean-themed lego pieces