Fishing boats in Laos made from the fuel tanks of B-52 bombers

Photo credit: CGIAR, Fisheries and Aquaculture Production in Reservoirs in Lao PDR

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Fishing canoe (Laos)


The metal boats shown in the inserted photo were made in Laos through the recycling of B-52 bombers’ fuel tanks. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, during war raids, fuel tanks were jettisoned in large numbers over Vietnam and Laos.

Local farmers and fishermen have come up with a creative way of recycling the many abandoned fuel tanks scattered in forestry by turning them into river boats and canoes; dozens of these boats and canoes which are in use today such as those ones in “Nam Nguang Reservoir”, Laos. These metal boats are preferred  over the traditional wooden boats with its limited lifespan and its need of regular maintenance and repair. This operation has been described as a second life to fuel tanks of bombers.

It may worth mentioning that the fuel tanks of the B-52 bomber should be large enough to hold close to 42,000 US gallons which allow the craft to fly more than 14,000 km without aerial refueling.


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