February 9, 2009
Navy frees grounded cruiser
The commanding officer of the USS Port Royal, Captain John Carroll, has been temporarily relieved of his duties pending an investigation of why the missile cruiser grounded off Honolulu Airport, Thursday night.
According to local media reports, the ship was freed around 2:40 morning at high tide, after removal of the anchors and anchor chains and the dumping of some 500 tons of sea water ballast.
Besides losing its anchors and chains, the ship sheared off the blades of its two propellers and damaged the sonar bulb that extends from its bow, reports the Honolulu advertiser.
This afternoon, Navy divers ran a remotely operated vehicle underneath the vessel looking for possible other damage.
The Port Royal had just spent four months in drdock when it grounded in 17 to 22 feet of water as it was completing its first day of sea trials.
It will return to dry dock at the end of this week for repairs.