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USS PORT ROYAL aground off of Honolulu International Airport


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Aloha Everyone,

 

On Thursday evening February 5th, 2009, the Ticonderoga Class Cruiser USS PORT ROYAL ran aground on a reef while returing to her homeport in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She missed the harbor entrance channel by about half a mile and is now hard aground on the reef adjacent to the runway of Honolulu International Airport (just to the right of the longshot photo)

 

These are photos I took of her this morning (Saturday February 7th). Two attempts to free her at high tide have already failed. She is now being lightened and a third attempt will be underway early Sunday morning.

 

The Salvage ship standing by her is the USS SALVOR T-ARS-52

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As you can see from these photos taken from Sand Island, the surf is running fairly high and she is rocking on the reef in the swells. The water in this area is about 17 feet deep - way too shallow for a Cruiser. Thus far, she is not leaking fuel oil nor taking on water, but you can be certain her sonar dome, shafts, propellers, etc are wrecked. To add insult to injury, she was on sea trials having just left the shipyard from her regular overhaul period.

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The SALVOR has been onsite since the grounding, but as she draws about 15 feet under the keel, there is little margin for error if she moves closer to the cruiser.

 

To show you how close these vessels are to the rocky shoreline, the second photo was taken from the reef runway at the end of Lagoon Drive. Airliners are landing right beside these ships and the water just past the foliage is only knee deep.

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I was wondering if anyone was going to post about this.

 

The USN has been entering the channel to Pearl Harbor since the 1830's. Short of severe mechanical failure, I am sure the Captain will have some questions to answer.

 

I am surprised there are not a bunch of tourist boats around it snapping photos.

 

I haven't seen anything like this since that Russian spy ship came within Hawaii's territorial waters back in 1983, and could clearly bee seen from the beach hotels.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

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These last two photos were taken from Lagoon Drive to illustrate just how close both the Cruiser & Salvage ship are to the runway. It will be quite an effort by all hands to get this warship off of the reef before the sea begins to claim her. Fortunately the weather is good, for now.

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Man, that sucks! That CO has pretty much commanded his last ship. I'd hate to see the repair estimates on that one. It doesn't take much to damage the hull and any sensors that happen to be along the impact route.

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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Latest try to free ship grounded at Hawaii fails

45 minutes ago

 

HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy says its third attempt to free a $1 billion warship that ran aground off the coast of Hawaii has failed.

 

Tugboats and a salvage ship tried unsuccessfully for four hours early Sunday to pull the USS Port Royal off a rock and sand shoal. The guided missile cruiser ran aground Thursday about a half-mile south of the Honolulu airport.

 

Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Agnes Tauyan says the Navy is reassessing its options.

 

The Navy had removed fuel, water and some personnel from the 9,600-ton vessel on Saturday in an effort to lighten it.

 

The 15-year-old Port Royal ran aground as it was finishing the first day of sea trials following four months of routine maintenance at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

 

No one was injured and no contaminants leaked.

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I'd hate to see the repair estimates on that one. It doesn't take much to damage the hull and any sensors that happen to be along the impact route.

 

-Ski

 

An interesting post--I've heard nothing about this in the news.

 

My sole experience with the navy was an all-expense paid luxury cruise on a troop transport that was older than I was, but couldn't the guy that drives the boat use the above-mentioned sensors to tell how deep the water was? Or have another guy stand on the front end of the boat and drop a weighted line?

 

Of course its always easy to second guess. I hope the guy in charge had his 20 years in.

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I'm sure it will end up being a Class A mishap in the safety reporting circles, especially after all of the expense of paying contractors to extract the ship..... Tax payers money at work, unfortunately.

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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I'm sure it will end up being a Class A mishap in the safety reporting circles, especially after all of the expense of paying contractors to extract the ship..... Tax payers money at work, unfortunately.

 

-Ski

 

I'm pretty sure it was a Class A as soon as the words "Oh s#@t" were heard on the boat.

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I was on the Vella Gulf CG-72 when she was being built. The Port Royal was being built next to us. If she ran aground her sonar dome took some major damage. I'll bet the skipper and a few other officers on board get relieved.

 

Thanks for posting this. I wouln't have know about it otherwise.

 

 

Jon B

Newaygo MI

Always looking for information on the USMC from 1916 - 1920, exp the 11th Company in Haiti and in WW1, 4th 5th, HQ Company.

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I hope for the sake of those career officers that there was some kind of catastrophic mechanical failure that led to this grounding and not human error. If it was human error... pinch.gif

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Great photos and post Salvage! I really feel for the CO and the whole bridge team. One of my first experiences as a young sailor was running aground while leaving Tokyo Bay aboard USS LEAHY. We tore 60 feet off the bottom of our ship and spent the next three months in drydock. All fun and games for me, but it really sucked for the CO and bridge team. The skipper was gone the next day.

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There was a very brief mention of it on CNN Headline News this AM. Kevin

Kevin

 

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USS PORT ROYAL successfully pulled off of reef today - Commanding Officer relived pending inquiry

 

News Item

Commanding officer of Port Royal relieved of duties

 

Capt. John Carroll, commanding officer of the guided missile cruiser Port Royal, has been temporarily relieved of duties, the Navy said today

 

Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, ordered the move pending results of an investigation to determine how the $1 billion warship became grounded off the airport's Reef Runway last week.

 

Capt. John Lauer III, currently assigned to the staff of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, has been temporarily assigned as the Port Royal's commanding officer.

 

The Navy freed the Port Royal early this morning after the guided missile cruiser spent three days aground.

 

Removing approximately 500 tons of seawater and about 100 tons of anchors, anchor chains and other equipment sufficiently lightened the ship for this morning's successful extraction, the Navy said in a news release.

 

The salvage ship USNS Salvor, the motor vessel Dove and seven Navy and commercial tugboats provided the necessary pulling power for this morning's operation.The pull began at 2 a.m. and the ship was freed within 40 minutes, according to the news release

 

Story Continues Here

Honolulu Advertiser

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Very ugly.....

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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Salvage,

 

Thanks for the timely posts, drop your guard and the sea will win. Either by carelesness or by shear will of its own the ocean can mess up the most advanced vessel.

 

Sad as it is, thanks again for the timely posts.

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Either by carelesness or by shear will of its own the ocean can mess up the most advanced vessel.

 

Have you ever read about this one:

 

The Honda Point Disaster was the largest peacetime loss of U.S. Navy ships. On the evening of September 8, 1923, seven destroyers, while traveling at 20 knots (37 km/h), ran aground at Honda Point, a few miles from the northern side of the Santa Barbara Channel off the California coast. Two other ships grounded, but were able to maneuver free of the rocks. Twenty-three sailors died in the mishap.

 

The rest of the story is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Point_Disaster

 

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What an incredible mess! The Honda Point photos look like the aftermath of a battle or an A Bomb test.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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