Tags: navy | ship | aground | okinawa | japan

Navy Ship Aground Off Coast of Okinawa, but No Injuries Reported

By    |   Friday, 23 January 2015 08:25 AM

A Navy ship ran aground off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, on Thursday, according to officials who said no one was injured.

The Military Sealift Command ship, Sgt. Matej Kocak, was led by a civilian crew when it hit ground around 11:30 a.m. Okinawa time, according to the Navy Times. The newspaper said the container ship, at 821 feet, is the size of an amphibious assault vessel.

The Seventh Fleet reported that there were 67 members of the U.S. Army on board, 26 Marines, along with the 38-member civilian crew.

"The U.S. Navy is working closely with Japanese authorities to assess the situation and determine the best course of action to refloat the vessel," read a statement from the Navy. "Tugs are on scene stabilizing the vessel and assessing the situation . . . No leaks from the hull have been found and no damage to the surrounding area has been reported."

Stars and Stripes reported that the Military Sealift Command runs the Navy's logistics arm, providing fuel, ammunition, and underway replenishment to vessels at sea. Its more than 100 noncombat ships service the defense department in specialized missions.

In 2013, a Navy warship ran aground on a coral reef in the Philippines, CNN reported. The bow of that ship was removed two months later and the ship, a minesweeper, was ultimately decommissioned.

"Preparing the ship for this sectioning has been extremely challenging," Capt. Mark Matthews, supervisor of the salvage operation, said in a U.S. Navy 7th Fleet blog post at the time, according to CNN. "We have had to painstakingly clear about a two-foot path inside the ship, removing everything that is in our way. Once the path is clear, the hull cutting is done manually by Navy divers and salvage contractors using chainsaws and reciprocating saws, and some of this cutting is underwater using hydraulically driven tools."

About 900 tons of the warship remains on Tubbataha Reef.

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A Navy ship ran aground off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, on Thursday, according to officials who said no one was injured.
navy, ship, aground, okinawa, japan
Friday, 23 January 2015 08:25 AM
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