Navy warship runs aground off reef runway


POSTED: Friday, February 06, 2009

Navy divers and a salvage ship will try for the second time today to free  a 9,600 ton Pearl Harbor warship that ran aground last night about a half-mile south of Honolulu Airport's reef runway, the Navy said.

The $1 billion guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal, skippered by Capt. John Carroll, was returning to its homeport of Pearl Harbor when it ran aground just before  9 last night about one and one-half mile from the entrance to the Harbor.

No one was injured.

Around 2 this morning, at high tide, Navy tugs tried unsuccessfully to pull the 567-foot guided missile cruiser off the reef.

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

The grounding and the extent of damage to the Port Royal, which was commissioned in 1994, are under investigation.

Quick facts about the USS Port Royal:

>> Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
>> Cost: $1 billion
>> Propulsion: 4 gas turbine engines
>> Length: 567 feet.
>> Beam: 55 feet.
>> Displacement: 9,600 tons
>> Speed: 30 plus knots.
>> Crew: 24 officers, 340 enlisted.
>> Armament: Standard Missile; Vertical Launch Missile; Tomahawk Cruise Missile; Six MK-46 torpedoes ; Two MK 45 5-inch/54 caliber guns; Two Phalanx close-in-weapons systems.
>> Aircraft: Two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters