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The fore section of Rivet City is split from the rest of the carrier, and occupied by hostile Mirelurks.Fallout 3 loading screen

The Rivet City bow is the broken-off section of the aircraft carrier where Rivet City is located.


Although technically a part of Rivet City, the Rivet City bow consists of the broken-off front third of the aircraft carrier. Pinkerton has set up his lab within the bow part of the carrier after being 'removed' from the Rivet City council in a coup.

Access to the bow is gained via an underwater door which can be most easily entered by exiting the Flight Deck door in the marketplace and jumping into the water. You will have to swim for quite a bit once you enter, and there is a hollow section half way along in which you can pause and take a breather. The entrance is guarded by mirelurks, the exact amount/type depending on your level.

Another entry is south west of Rivet City across a small pier. The door is locked "Very Hard" (requiring a Lockpick skill 100) on both sides. Alternatively there is a power switch to the right of the door, when used this unlocks the door as well, but this can only be accessed from the inside of the bow. If you enter this way, watch out for the frag mine that is placed on top of an empty ammunition box. If re-locked via the trigger, the door will drop to "Easy" for unknown reasons. Keep an eye out for further traps in the gas-filled hallway as you make your way towards Pinkerton's lab. A room containing two rigged shotguns, purified water, and frag mines is off to the right of the gas-filled hallway, and a tripwire activating a grenade bouquet is immediately after the door. Eventually you will reach a door that can only be opened remotely, via an activation switch. The switch can be found on the wall directly opposite the door. Beware of the rigged computer next to the door.

Notable loot

  • Big Book of Science on a table in Pinkerton's lab.
  • Dean's Electronics on the conjoined shelf in Pinkerton's lab.
  • 3 Stealth Boys:
    • One located on the table mixed in with all the crafting items.
    • One located on the conjoined shelf.
    • One located inside the wooden box below the shelf.
  • D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine in the operating room area, to the right of the computer, below the left x-ray viewer, almost behind the tanks.
  • The components for every single custom weapon (excluding the schematics), plus a workbench to assemble them on.

Note: All of these will have to be stolen, which leads to Karma loss and can potentially turn Pinkerton hostile. However, if you fight and "kill" him, he will only be knocked unconscious, as he is marked as essential (before the completion of The Replicated Man only). He will then wake up as if nothing happened.


The mirelurks in the broken bow respawn.


The Rivet City bow appears only in Fallout 3.


  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 The game may freeze if you try to fast travel after exiting a locked door (reloading a save will not fix this problem).[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Mirelurks might suddenly spawn to a different position (most likely from the lower staircase to the top) startling the player and leaving them vulnerable to mirelurk attacks. This also happens mostly to mirelurk hunters due to their size compared to the size of the extremely narrow and diagonal hallways and re-positioned staircase. There is a way to avoid this: the bug is more likely to happen if you've alerted your presence to the mirelurks or mirelurk hunters.[verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 When entering the Rivet City bow and then attempting to return to the wasteland, through any of the doors, the normal loading screen will appear, but it is possible that when the area loads the screen will be solid black with sounds of running water playing.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 There is a possible XP exploit on the bow. If you enter via the door underwater and go to the locked door from inside, you can flip the electric lock switch off and pick the lock. After entering, you can re-lock it and repeat the process as many times as you wish.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 There is a spot in the hollow place of the broken bow to "take a breather in", that you can stand on. This can be confirmed by pulling out your weapon. If you crouch, you go completely underwater, however you do not get an oxygen meter on the top of the screen.[verified]