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Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 11:24am
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS (KVEO) — Heavy fog and low tides were responsible for the delay in the arrival of the USS Forrestal.
Hundreds of people, mainly winter Texans, waited more than six hours to see the historic ship before the first United States super carrier ever built passed through the South Padre Island Jetties.
"I've been here for five hours waiting and it should arrive any moment and I'm looking forward to seeing it," said onlooker Butch Burg. "I'm proud to be able to see this thing coming in."
"I've never seen any big ship come through the channel like this, so just, just wanted to see it," said onlooker Katie Weiskircher.
"We're interested in ocean, we've always been involved in it," said Army veteran Dale H. "And uh, we just got interested in it so we're here...winter Texans."
A few of the many people there had a particularly special connection the ship, Dick Rolle boarded the Forrestal in 1955 and was one of the people who commissioned the ship.
"I was aboard approximately seven months thereafter," said former Forrestal commissioner Dick Rolle. "It was a great ship, we had a lot of problems with arresting gear and catapults initially, but got the bugs out and it was a great ship."
The USS Forrestal is the largest ship to ever enter the channel. All Star Metals bought the ship and intend to dismantle it and sell the scraps, which is also expected to improve the local economy.
"It's unfortunate the ship is gonna be scrapped, however the expense of keeping it as a museum is very exceptional so it's probably best that it's going this way but it was a great membrance for me," said Rolle.