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US Navy vessel develops hull cracks

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald, which was involved in the deadly collision with the ACX Crystal tanker on June 17, developed two cracks in its hull caused by a heavy lift vessel's steel support structure during on load at anchorage.

The ship was being loaded for transport to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi aboard heavy lift transport vessel Transshelf, bound for repairs to the damage sustained in the collision. However, because of the hull punctures, it had to return to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka for repairs, which are expected to extend the on load process by a few days, the US Navy said.

"Fitzgerald was towed to deep water to begin the heavy lift process on November 24.

"In the months prior to its departure from Yokosuka, technicians and shipbuilders at Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka made significant progress in preparing the ship for the journey, including dewatering, defueling, hull and superstructure repairs, and placing key systems in layup maintenance.

"In October, it was moved from dry dock to a pierside location in anticipation of the move," a statement from the Navy's 7th Fleet reads.

Fitzgerald shares a similar fate of the US Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, which also developed a crack in its hull while transiting to Yokosuka aboard the heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure.

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