Looks ugly, no? Go take a look at the bow, too. Could have been worse.

New details are emerging about the grounding. The vessel was grounded on a coral reef, rather than sand, and the amount of dumped “mainly salt water” sewage (sewage is, no matter how you cut it, mainly water) keeps growing (from zero to 5000 to 7000 gallons).

If these two pesky environmental issues were known during the incident and not disseminated, the failure to share that information constrained the options of others who might have been able to help. The sewage thing could have been avoided. And the reef issue, with a little advance notice, could have become a net positive. It does not do the U.S. Navy any good to have a clear and confident post-grounding motto “We’re working to protect the ship, crew and environment” crumble a week or so after the incident.

Ask yourselves: What looks better–the present round of ugly Port Royal headlines, or a similarly-timed wave of “here’s the Navy moving in to save the coral” news? For the sake of everything holy, it’s a ready-made “Animal Planet” feature. People love that sort of stuff. I mean, we’ve got Navy divers out there today, essentially gluing coral together right now! Yet the potential for garnering positive PR from that sort of recovery work is, given the late revelation about the reef, totally lost. Gone. And that’s a shame.

In other news, Pearl Harbor’s organic salvage assets are getting cut. Had those salvage assets gone away a few months earlier, I’ll dare to speculate the Port Royal would have been sitting on that reef far, far longer than she did. Is this neck-down of salvage assets wise? Discuss:


Posted by Defense Springboard in Navy

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  • pk

    sure would like to see the runout charts and the readings for the shaft displacements.

    just bet that at least the port side strut is tweaked a bit.

    the bill will probably be at least two new hubs, ten propellor blades (5 port and 5 starboard) a total shaft realignment job for both shafts. maybe a new propellor shaft for port side.

    rudders are probably ok.

    and just look at that devinely blue underwater paint. just when did they change from the good old really dark red???


  • I kinda like it.

    Pearl losing it’s salvage assets? Where are they going? Or will we outsource that like we’ve done with so many other things?

    I think it’s a galactically stupid idea. Of course, I thought getting rid of all the Destroyer Tenders was stupid too.

  • Gotta tell ya, I do like the new blue anti-fouling.

  • Bill Aston

    A red bootstripe would work well. Very Yachtie.

  • Byron

    “Bootstripe”…ah, that would be, “boot top”, sir.

  • JLF999

    Very much looks like an attempt was made to back her off after sticking the dome in the ground. Bend angle on the port blades that are left…yep.
    That kinda bending doesn’t happen with that material or in that direction with the current pushing her towards the broaching position.
    USN disposal of salvage capability is just more of the “just in time” “lean-6-sigma” stuff that resounds in the boardroom of bankrupting businesses these days vice a warfighting organization.
    Yea, understand the need to get more efficient. Maybe also some juevos in DC to support our needs too? Every part of the U.S. that is farther than few hundred miles from a USN FCA which I’ve been to, the people don’t have a clue what the Navy is, or why they pay for one.

  • pk

    would anyone care to speculate on the visible lack of damage vs the fact that the salvage vessels were about 5 miles from the site and could get there in an hour or so vs having to steam 3000+ miles to get there with the ship grinding out the bottom from tidal action while they were waiting for the heavy tackle to get arrive?


  • Bill Aston

    Clearly you must work with what you have at hand. But I suspect some staffie is reviewing the bidding and thinking about alternative methods of floatation and how to get it all packaged and delivered PDQ.
    One must wonder at the decision to short change Pearl Harbor. But Damnit! Navy Cruisers don’t go aground!

  • Ouch. Just painful to look at.

  • Boats

    You know its sad to see a former command that was such a great ship and had a great name made for itself and shows that the ship had a jr crew and higher authority that didn’t know or quite understand the difference between a frigrate and a aegis cruiser. Pathetic !!!!

  • Dean

    seems there was a news update today — would be interested in reading some comments

  • Byron

    Suspect he’ll serve long enough to hold his rank, and then be retired. Even with a non-judicial, his career is as hosed as his former command.