Free At Last

Navy frees stuck warship off coast of Honolulu

The Navy on Monday freed the $1 billion guided missile cruiser that had been stuck for more than three days since it ran aground close to the coast of Honolulu.

The USS Port Royal was pulled off a rock and sand shoal at around 2 a.m. after crews removed about 500 tons of water and 100 tons of anchors and other equipment to lighten the vessel, the Navy said in a statement.

The removal by a salvage ship and seven tug boats took about 40 minutes.

No one was injured during the recovery effort, said Rear Adm. Joe Walsh, the U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy commander.

The area was to be examined to determine if the ship leaked any fuel, said Coast Guard Capt. Barry Compagnoni.

The Port Royal was being towed to Naval Station Pearl Harbor for inspection.

See also:
Whoops!
Third Time Not a Charm
Navy Takes Off Fuel, Water, People to Lighten Missile Cruiser
Navy tries again to move ship

Port Royal’s props, sonar bulb damaged in grounding

The USS Port Royal sheared off the blades of its two propellers, damaged the sonar bulb that extends from its bow and left its anchors, anchor chains and other debris on the ocean floor during the nearly five days it was stuck on a rock and sand ledge just off Honolulu Airport’s Reef Runway, the Navy said today.

The $1 billion, guided missile cruiser sat at Pearl Harbor’s Mike 3 pier this afternoon as Navy divers ran a remotely operated vehicle underneath it looking for possible other damage.

The Port Royal had just spent four months in drydock when it ran aground in 17 to 22 feet of water Thursday night following its first day of sea trials.

It will return to drydock at the end of this week for repairs, said Rear Adm. Joseph A. Walsh, deputy commander and chief of staff of the Pacific Fleet.

See also:
Coast Guard spots sheen; no threat to environment
Coast Guard monitoring oil sheen near where ship was stuck

USS Port Royal Commander Relieved of Duties

The commanding officer of the USS Port Royal has been temporarily relieved of his duties, four days after the missile cruiser ran aground offshore of the Honolulu Airport.

Captain John Carroll will be off that duty during the investigation to determine the cause of the grounding.

Carroll took command of the USS Port Royal last October.

See also:
Navy captain relieved of command
Captain of ship stuck off Hawaii relieved of duty

/thank God Almighty, it’s free at last

Third Time Not a Charm

Poor Captain Carroll . . .

Sunday: Defiant Navy Ship Still Stuck After 3rd Extraction Attempt

A third attempt to refloat USS Port Royal (CG 73) proved unsuccessful this morning, leaving the guided missile cruiser aground about a half-mile south of Honolulu Airport.

This morning’s attempt was made with the concerted effort of the salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52), M/V Dove and four Navy and three commercial tugboats.

The Port Royal’s hull is structurally sound and there has been no fuel leakage or spillage.

. . .

Larger tug boats and tow vessels provided more pulling power than was mustered the two previous mornings. Today’s effort again coincided with the high tide, which occurred about 3 a.m. The ship, however, remained aground after four hours of towing, which began at 1:30 a.m.

The Navy is assessing its options on how to proceed.

See also:
Whoops!
USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52)
USNS SALVOR (T-ARS 52)

It’s interesting to note that the M/V Dove is standing by. This is a support vessel for the Sea-Based X-band (SBX) Radar

Sea-Based X-band (SBX) Radar is the tracking and discrimination radar used for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. SBX will consist of a large X-Band half-populated radar mounted on a modified fifth-generation semi-submersible platform with Battle Management Command Control and Communications, which includes In-flight Interceptor Communication System Data Terminals and associated communications; power generation; facility floor space; and infrastructure, similar to a fixed radar installation.

The SBX provides detailed ballistic missile tracking information to the GMD system, as well as advanced target and countermeasures discrimination capability for the GMD interceptor missiles. The ability of the SBX to deploy to operating locations under its own power allows it to support actual GMD operations as well as realistic testing.

. . .

The support vessel operations include operation the Motor/Vessel (M/V) Dove. The functions of the M/V Dove include: SBX maritime and mission equipment crew transport and transfer, fueling of the SBX, provision re-supply, transport and transfer of all equipment and hardware to and from the SBX, anchor handling, and when necessary, towing of the SBX. Logistical shore facilities are also required to support the SBX mission. There are two shore sites associated with the operations and support of the SBX: the Primary Support Base (PSB) located in Adak, Alaska (the home port for the SBX), and the Operational Support Site (OSS) located in Anchorage, Alaska. The PSB provides the functions of fuel coordination, environmental response capabilities, and is the shipping/receiving point for personnel and supplies to/from the SBX-1.

The presence of the M/V Dove is probably related to the fact that, as reader Render pointed out on a previous thread, the USS Port Royal is an element of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense component of our Ballistic Missile Defense System.

See also:
Ballistic Missile Defense

/anyway, if they can’t refloat the Port Royal, maybe they can turn her into a land based component of the missile defense system or, if all else fails, a maritime museum

UPDATE:

Navy to unload water, anchors to free stuck ship

The Navy plans to remove 800 tons of water from a warship that ran aground off the coast of Honolulu before again trying to free the ship.

The Navy hopes the lighter load will help it pull the USS Port Royal to safety. Several attempts to free the $1 billion cruiser have failed since it got stuck on a rock and sand shoal Thursday.

Rear Adm. Joe Walsh, U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy commander, says the Navy will try again early Monday, at the next high tide.

The water the Navy plans to unload is seawater the Port Royal has taken on to replace the weight of burned fuel. It helps balance the ship. The Navy also plans to unload about 40 tons’ worth of anchors and anchor chains.

/if at first you don’t succeed . . .

Whoops!

Navy hopes high tide will help free grounded warship

One of the biggest and most technologically advanced warships based at Pearl Harbor remained aground today in 17 to 22 feet of water a half-mile off Honolulu International Airport’s Reef Runway.

No one was injured in the incident, which was reported around 9 last night, the Navy said.

Navy tugs tried early in the morning to nudge the 9,600-ton and 567-foot guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal off the sandy bottom, but were unsuccessful, officials said.

Crew members on the Clean Islands, an oil recovery vessel that was positioned behind the Port Royal as a precaution, said the water was so shallow they could see the bottom.

The Navy said divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One from Pearl Harbor and the salvage ship USS Salvor would try to tow the warship.

Officials said the guided missile cruiser left port yesterday for several days of sea trials after leaving drydock about a month ago for routine maintenance. Shore-based Navy officials were being transferred to Hickam harbor by small boat when the grounding occurred, the Navy said.

Navy officials said a high tide that could float the cruiser off the bottom is expected at 2:45 a.m. tomorrow morning.

See also:
CG 73 Port Royal
USS Port Royal (CG-73)
Home — USS Port Royal (CG 73)

/sucks to be Captain John Carroll right about now

UPDATE:

Navy fails to free warship grounded at Hawaii

An attempt to pull a $1 billion warship free after it ran aground off the coast of Honolulu was unsuccessful Saturday, but the Navy planned to try again after lightening the vessel’s weight.

Navy tugboats and a salvage ship, the USS Salvor, tried to tow out the USS Port Royal at high tide early Saturday, but the guided missile cruiser remained stuck on the sandy, rocky bottom, said Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Agnes T. Tanyan.

Navy officials now plan to remove the ship’s fuel and water supplies in an effort to lighten the vessel and make it easier to refloat, she said.

/she must have been moving at speed to get this stuck, heads will definitely roll