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Friday, July 28, 2000

Pearl yard to repair
damaged oiler

Yukon's framework and hull
took 'significant' damage in
the July 13 collision at sea

By Gregg K. Kakesako


Major hull and framework repair of the oiler USNS Yukon, which was damaged in a collision at sea two weeks ago, will be done at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard using civilian workers.

Larry Crutchfield, spokesman for the Military Sea Lift Command, said work on the stern of the 677-foot Yukon will be done by workers from Honolulu Shipyard, Inc.

The repairs will take about three weeks.

Crutchfield said assessment of the Yukon following the July 13 collision with the troop transport USS Denver 180 miles west of Oahu revealed "significant structural damage" to the starboard quarter (left rear) of the ship.

"There was hull penetration in one area," Crutchfield said.

The major permanent repairs needed to fix the hull and the ship's framework will be done at Pearl Harbor.

The Yukon, whose crew also includes civilian mariners, must pass Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping inspections before it sets sail again. Once those inspections have been completed, the Yukon will return to the mainland for a regularly scheduled overhaul.

At that point, the ship's flight deck and interior spaces that were damaged will be repaired.

The 31-year-old Denver, with a temporary patch welded over a 25-foot hole on its bow, left Pearl Harbor Thursday for its San Diego home port.

Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn, 3rd Fleet commander in San Diego, will name a board to conduct a safety investigation into the accident. Rear Adm. Bill Marshall, who commands Amphibious Group 3, will appoint an investigating officer who will determine culpability.

The Coast Guard will conduct a separate investigation, which includes drug tests of key personnel.

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