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Old 07-02-2009, 09:41   #1
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Oops -- It happens to everyone

Navy warship runs aground near Honolulu airport

Saturday, February 7, 2009 5:04 AM EST
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) The Navy hopes a high tide due to reach Hawaii early Saturday will enable it to refloat a 9,600-ton warship that ran aground about a half mile off seaside Honolulu International Airport.
An initial effort by Navy tugs early Friday to free the guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal was unsuccessful. The $1 billion ship ran aground Thursday night while carrying guests that included a rear admiral.
"We're certainly working on bringing to bear the resources we have to move her off the current position. We're still putting that plan together," said Capt. W. Scott Gureck, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet. "Obviously, the high tide gives us an opportunity to do that."
Divers and the salvage ship USS Salvor would try to tow the 567-foot vessel, the Navy said.
The cause of the grounding on the sandy bottom and the extent of damage to the vessel were under investigation.
"I'm not going to speculate on what happened," Gureck said.
The Port Royal left Pearl Harbor on Thursday for sea trials after being dry-docked for routine maintenance. The ship ran aground while shore-based officials were being transferred to shore by small boat, the Navy said.
An oil recovery vessel, the Clean Islands, was positioned behind the warship as a precaution as the U.S. Coast Guard monitored the situation.
"We know that there is no oil spill at this point, and we're confident the Navy is doing everything it can," Coast Guard Lt. John Titchen said.
Commissioned in 1994, the Port Royal has a crew of about 360. The crew stayed aboard the ship, along with Navy officials such as Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:45   #2
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If only they had been using paper charts
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:48   #3
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Ouch. Someone's gonna get slammed for this one. Maybe the "rear" admiral, eh?

Cheers

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:44   #4
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The CO will probably be relieved of duty. They do use paper charts along with electronic charts along with another system.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:17   #5
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We had an interesting event happen with one of the sister ships, the Philippine Sea, another guided missile cruiser. We were sailing south on the way to St. Augustine, coming up on the St. John's River Inlet, about 4 miles off the Florida coast, with my wife at the helm, doing a nice 7 to 8 knots on a starboard tack. So, we're about 7 or 8 miles north of the inlet when we hear the usual notice, "Warship 58 proceeding out the St. John's Inlet to sea", etc. So, we figure we're still an hour away and 58 will quite likely be well away from us by the time we get there.

We get about 3 miles from the inlet when my wife calls me up, saying "that looks like that Navy ship, still in the inlet, and it doesn't look like they're moving". I'm thinking, "aw, come on, that's no place to be farting around. There's lots of traffic, some shallow water, and the tide's about to shift, too." So, I take a look through the glasses and sure enough, that ship's moving awful slow in a pretty narrow inlet.

My wife wonders if we should do something different and I say, not really, we're under sail, starboard tack, maybe bear off a bit, and obviously, keep your eye on 'em. They're not talking, but hardly moving.

So, we keep on going south and are now about a mile from the inlet and the Navy ship is still in the inlet. Then, they start moving a bit quicker, but seem to be crabbing their way out. Then, we hear; "Warship 58 to sailing catamaran proceeding southbound. We are proceeding out of the inlet, but have lost all steering. Repeat, WE HAVE LOST ALL STEERING! Recommend you take evasive action. We are trying to make the anchorage outside the inlet. Please stand by."

Well, that certainly got our attention! So, we end up doing a 360 and come up about 500 yards aft of the ship, which is now past the outer markers and going slowly, with an anchor hanging down ready to splash. They called back after we passed their stern, "Thank you, catamaran. We still have no steering and will advise you if we need to do further maneuvers toward you." We watch them for the next little while and they did end up anchoring.

It does make you wonder, though, whether anyone thought to check things out before they left the pier.

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Old 07-02-2009, 11:26   #6
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KGMB9 News has some video coverage.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:32   #7
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I've come across a couple mentions now that these boats seem to stall at low speeds, and lose steerage control. They were shifting crew to small open boats, so they'd have been going as slow as they thought they could safely go.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:10   #8
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My wife wonders if we should do something different
Should have offered them a tow
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:31   #9
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Should have offered them a tow
If they accepted, could you claim salvage rights for their vessel?!
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:44   #10
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After the fact, I did think I could have offered to call TowBoatUS, but no since rubbing salt in the wound -- I'm sure they were not having the best of days!

But, let's see, 40% of $1B -- that's a pretty nice cruising kitty!

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Old 07-02-2009, 15:23   #11
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I've come across a couple mentions now that these boats seem to stall at low speeds, and lose steerage control.
... sounds familiar ...
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:35   #12
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A couple private shots taken of the entire ordeal (Not mine).



Inspecting damage
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:41   #13
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....It does make you wonder, though, whether anyone thought to check things out before they left the pier....ID
I can guarantee you that they do - each and every time they get underway. Plant light-off, propulsion and steering checks, etc begin about an hour before each scheduled underway time. And the same checks are conducted prior to entering restricted waters when returning from sea.

These ships are twin-screw variable pitch propped vessels. It's rather remarkable that they were actually able to clear the jetties and make it to the anchorage. Winds and tide must have been in their favor.

I've been through that inlet many times.... not a great place to lose steering control

I question the 2nd picture - the underwater scene there does not look like offshore Jacksonville that close to the inlet to me. Looks like a much more tropical place....
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:40   #14
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I believe those photos are of the Honolulu ship, not the Jacksonville one.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:49   #15
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I believe those photos are of the Honolulu ship, not the Jacksonville one.
doh!
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