Navy to try again tomorrow to free grounded ship


POSTED: Saturday, February 07, 2009



The Navy is offloading fuel, water and personnel from a grounded, $1 billion cruiser so tugboats and a salvage ship can try again early tomorrow morning to free it from a rock and sand shoal.

The USS Port Royal, a guided missile cruiser, ran aground on Thursday evening, about a half-mile south of the Honolulu airport.

No one was injured and no oil or other contaminants have leaked.

Rear Admiral Joseph Walsh, deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, says there is no structural damage. But he adds that an underwater rubber encasement that surrounds sonar equipment at the bow may be taking in water.

With less fresh water, fuel and crew, the ship should be 215 tons lighter and easier to move at high tide tomorrow.