(China) — The world’s largest concrete ship has been dismantled after spending four decades stranded on the riverbank.
The Gu Tian was abandoned shortly after her maiden voyage in 1974 and has since become a home to squatters and is a local tourist attraction in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China’s Fujian Province.
Work to destroy the 3,000 ton concrete boat began in November last year and is finally coming to a close this week.
Before: The Gu Tian concrete ship pictured in November before work began to dismantle the 3,000 ton boat
The cement ship was built during the 1970s when there was a lack of steel in China as a cheap solution during the ‘cultural revolution’.
It was launched to herald in a new age where China had mastery of the seas. But after her first voyage in 1974, Communist officials realised it cost far too much to power a concrete ship through the waters, and she was driven ashore and grounded.
The 345ft long, 48ft wide, 26ft 7in high Gu Tian became a squat for locals and a minor tourist attraction and spent 40 years beached on the bank of the Mingjiang River. It was also used as a training base for Fujian Ship Communications Vocational College.
It has previously been ruled too expensive to destroy but since the land was bought by a re-development scheme, the process began to dismantle it to build a block of flats.
Destruction: The ship was built to save money, but due to the heavy weight and huge fuel consumption it was abandoned after just a few usages in 1974
Mayday call: Workers in the People’s Republic of China see the last of the concrete ship which may have been a great idea but was unsustainable once put into practice
By Sara Malm