The SS Colby Victory was a ship laid down by the California Shipbuilding Company in 1944 under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. It was launched one year later when it was acquired by the U.S. Navy. The main purpose of the SS Colby Victory was to serve during World War II in the Pacific Ocean. Unlike the former Liberty ships, Victory ships were taller, faster, wider, and longer and were meant to be used after the war was over as well. The SS Colby Victory was sold to the Netherlands in 1947, which subsequently sold it to Liberia, and was eventually scrapped in 1971.
However, the SS Colby Victory was laden with asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that is a known human carcinogen. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for awful, life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. It occurs when a person inhales or ingests asbestos fibers from the air which, once inside the body, attach themselves to various organs, particularly the lungs, where they gradually cause severe inflammation and tissue scarring. Over the decades, these symptoms may give way to serious diseases.