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AMFELS Shipyard - Brownsville

AMFELS Shipyard - Brownsville, Texas

Now owned by Keppel Offshore and Marine Company but still known as AMFELS to locals, the AMFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas had its start as the Marathon LeTourneau Shipyard. It was later renamed AMFELS (American division of the Far East Levingston Shipbuilding Limited) and then sold to local interests in 1985 and to Keppel in 1991.

Marathon LeTourneau built vessels at the Brownsville site from approximately 1972 until 1985. Rigs constructed at that time include towboats and semi-submersibles. Ships built under the AMFELS name include drilling barges, deck barges, sludge carriers, multi-purpose support ships, and several other varieties. Keppels AMFELS property in Brownsville continues to produce commercial vessels and is still a prolific shipyard.

During the early years of this Brownsville shipyard, the use of asbestos aboard ships was still permitted and the dangerous mineral was employed for a number of purposes on vessels of all varieties. Pipefitters, steamfitters, plumbers, insulators, electricians, boilermakers, and others who built or repaired ships were often exposed to asbestos on a daily basis and usually did not wear protective gear when working with the mineral.

Although the U.S. government issued warnings about the use of asbestos in 1977, in some cases asbestos use continued. Also, shipyard workers were often exposed to older ships constructed while the use of asbestos was legal. That means, despite the government warnings about any new uses of asbestos, employees still may have encountered the toxic mineral.

AMFELS Brownsville was just one of many United States shipyards were workers were exposed to asbestos. As a matter of fact, shipyard workers in the U.S. have one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the country because the use of asbestos was so widespread aboard both commercial and military vessels.

Unfortunately, records show that some individuals in charge knew about the dangers of asbestos inhalation but did not share this important information with employees, allowing them instead to work without benefit of protective masks or respirators. The result, 40-50 years later, is scores of individuals with asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, a cancer which usually kills its victims within a year of diagnosis.

Did you or a loved one work at AMFELS Brownsville shipyard? Have you or that person been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos? Do you sometimes wonder who is responsible for your exposure? We have the answers to many of your questions about your disease and your legal rights as a mesothelioma sufferer. For more details, order our free mesothelioma information kit today.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog

FEATURING:


January 20, 2017
Emily Walsh

The Importance of Grief Counseling for Mesothelioma Patients and Families

“Mesothelioma is a disease that comes with a grim outlook with only an average of 8% of patients who survive five years after their diagnosis. Because it has such a poor prognosis, a big part of treating mesothelioma – or any form of cancer, really – includes addressing mental impact it has on patients and their family members.”