By Vicki, Loe, Doug Helton, and Lisa Symons, Office of Response and Restoration
At about 1:30 a.m.on Tuesday, May 5, 1942, the American Steam Tanker Munger T. Ball, en route to Norfolk, Virginia, from Port Arthur, Texas, with a cargo of 65,000 gallons of gasoline was hit twice by torpedoes and machine gun fire from the German U-507 about 80 miles northwest of Key West, Florida. The first hit caused the tanker to burst into flames, preventing the crews’ ability to launch lifeboats, leaving 30 dead and four survivors who were able to swim away from the burning vessel and be rescued four hours later. The vessel sank within 15 minutes of the second hit.
By Donna L. Roberts and Doug Helton, Office of Response and Restoration
The International Coastal Cleanup is coming up on Sept. 18, 2021, when volunteers around the world will be cleaning beaches and shorelines of the debris that has accumulated there. In addition to these organized events, there are also many people who generously take it upon themselves to pick up trash when they visit beaches or shorelines. So, what do these kind volunteers and beach-goers find? Lots of cigarette butts, food wrappers, and single-use water bottles, but also, some weird and interesting things.