The Ked, a World War II oiler, makes its final voyage

I’ve been gone almost a week. Did anybody miss me?

My father-in-law, Ed Rowell, died last Sunday in New Castle, Pennsylvania. My wife Sue and I traveled back there for the services and to spend time with Sue’s family. Ed was a proud Marine during much of his life. In retirement, he volunteered for the YMCA, where he taught swimming and life saving, and the Red Cross, where he taught First Aid. It was nice to meet some of the people who went through his classes and others who loved and respected him down through the years.

Anyway, it will probably take me a little time to catch up on some of the water-related issues swirling around in my absence. I thought I’d start by mentioning the Ked, a World War II oil tanker that was towed out of Bremerton at 6 a.m. last Sunday to be salvaged for its scrap metal. See my story published Monday or watch the video I shot just after dawn by clicking on The Ked leaves Bremerton.

Several owners through the years had high hopes for the Ked, which served for a time as a fishing vessel until it was allowed to rust and deteriorate in several locations around Puget Sound, including Port Washington Narrows over the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, a very similar vessel, The Wizard, has gained fame as a crab boat in Alaska, where the ship has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s series “The Deadliest Catch.”

It makes you wonder what causes one ship to turn into a useless hulk and the other to become a celebrity of sorts. I think the answer is simple. If someone doesn’t care for the ship down through the years, then someone with money must step in to save it from a fate of salvage.

In any case, it helps if the owner fosters a love for old ships. Thank goodness a few of these folks are still around.

3 thoughts on “The Ked, a World War II oiler, makes its final voyage

  1. A plus is that the Ked will continue on in a different form.
    Far better to scrap her than let her rust out and sink…of no use to anyone.

  2. Parts of the Ked will live on in another Bushey tanker back in Brooklyn whence they all started. 2 davits and many engine parts were saved from the Ked, thanks to the cooperation of Stabbert Maritime, and will go into the Mary A. Whalen, home of the non-profit PortSide NewYork. more at If anyone knows of any other Bushey tankers out there, please let us know!

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