Patriot Shipping to Carry USS Fitzgerald to US for Repairs

Image Courtesy: US Navy/ MC1 Peter Burghart

Houston-based Patriot Shipping has received the contract to transport the US Navy’s destroyer USS Fitzgerald from Japan to Mississippi for repairs.

Under the heavy lift deal, which has a value of around USD 3.1 million, the company would move the damaged warship from Yokosuka to Pascagoula, where it will be repaired by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

The move is expected to be completed by November 2017, according to the US Navy. An earlier tender for the transportation job indicated that the damaged ship could start its voyage to the US as early as mid-September.

USS Fitzgerald was severely damaged in a fatal collision with the containership ACX Crystal, operated by Japan’s NYK Line, on June 17. The incident also resulted in the deaths of seven crew members of USS Fitzgerald.

Earlier in August the US Navy informed that the collision was avoidable as both ships demonstrated poor seamanship. In line with the investigation findings, the commanding officer of the missile destroyer Cmdr. Bryce Benson, along with the warship’s executive officer, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt, and command master chief, Master Chief Petty Officer Brice Baldwin, have been relieved of their duties.

In a separate statement, the US Navy informed that it recovered the remains of all ten sailors that went missing following a collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and an oil/chemical tanker Alnic MC on August 21.

The incident, which occurred while the ships were underway in waters east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, is the fourth one this year involving a US Navy vessel, and just two months apart from the USS Fitzgerald collision.

As a result, the Navy said it was introducing an operational pause across all fleets in order to assess the ongoing situation and factors that led to the incidents. The review should be completed by August 2018.

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