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    Default Really Really Really Really Big Oooppsss

    I'll let the story speak for itself.

    Navy Works to Free "Beached" Ship

    Updated 6:00 AM EST, Mon, Feb 9, 2009 AP

    HONOLULU The Navy plans to remove 800 tons of water from a warship that ran aground off the coast of Honolulu before again trying to free the ship.

    The Navy hopes the lighter load will help it pull the USS Port Royal to safety. Several attempts to free the $1 billion cruiser have failed since it got stuck on a rock and sand shoal Thursday.

    The Pearl Harbor-based Port Royal, one of the Navy's most advanced ships, is capable of firing interceptors into space to shoot down missiles. It's also equipped with Aegis ballistic missile tracking technology.

    The vessel is currently lodged just off Honolulu International Airport, visible to all those flying in and out of Oahu. It's also in clear view of a nearby public beach park and a famous local bar, La Mariana Sailing Club.

    Rear Adm. Joe Walsh, U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy commander, says the Navy will try again early Monday, at the next high tide.

    "At this time, no one has been hurt, the ship remains structurally sound, and no fuel or other contaminants has been released to the environment," Walsh told reporters at a Pearl Harbor pier.

    A fuel spill response vessel is on standby at the scene just in case fuel leaks, however.

    The water the Navy plans to unload is seawater the Port Royal has taken on to replace the weight of burned fuel. It helps balance the ship. The Navy also plans to unload about 40 tons' worth of anchors and anchor chains.

    The rescue effort will enlist the help of one more civilian tugboat, adding to the efforts of four Navy and three commercial tugboats that tried to yank the ship loose Sunday.

    The Navy plans to unload fuel if the Port Royal still won't move. The next step, if that's also unsuccessful, would be to consider dredging a channel behind the vessel through which the Navy would pull the ship back out to sea, Walsh said.

    One reason Sunday's attempt may have failed, despite four hours of pulling, is that the Navy wasn't able to lighten the Port Royal by offloading fuel as planned.

    That's because waves kept hitting the vessel that was to receive the fuel, and there was a risk the vessels would be damaged.

    The ship ran aground while offloading sailors, contractors and shipyard personnel Thursday night following its first day of sea trials. It had just wrapped up a four-month routine maintenance stay at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

    Copyright Associated Press

    Photocredit:

    The USS Port Royal, right, a Navy guided missile cruiser, sits grounded atop a reef about a half-mile south of the Honolulu airport's reef runway. Crews will try again Monday to free it from its shallow resting place.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    The ship ran aground while offloading sailors, contractors and shipyard personnel Thursday night following its first day of sea trials.
    Oh oh. Sounds like it might be a "Contractor" problem?

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    Oh oh. Sounds like it might be a "Contractor" problem?
    Maybe, but there is definitely a possibility there is a harbor pilot looking closely at monster.com!
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    Damn it! I told you, port is the other hand!

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    Had something similar the other day. A senior citizen hit the gas instead of the brake and ended up on the front steps of a house. Guess that could have happened to them too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Maybe, but there is definitely a possibility there is a harbor pilot looking closely at monster.com!


    Yea Honey, they laid me off because of the economy.... OOO no, I wasn't piloting that ship it was Jim.

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    OK, Captain. So what you actually said was; "Let's sail it around for a while"?! See, I thought you said "let's sail it..."
    Last edited by fireman4949; 02-11-2009 at 10:08 PM.
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    Seriously. Soon as ship hit dirt someone looked at that harbor pilot and said "Yep. That's what a fired ***** looks like"
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    Talking Huh??............

    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    Damn it! I told you, port is the other hand!

    "I thought you said a Glass of Port..........."
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    The bit below is part of a true conversation that took place aboard HMCS RESTIGOUCHE circa 1993, while I was part of the crew.

    Setting: HMCS RESTIGOUCHE at sea conducting navigation training for new officers. Also aboard were a new batch of young bos'ns right out of Fleet School training, including a couple kids who were fresh out of Quebec and their English skills were "not quite there". Due to the close in sailing around Barkeley Sound, on the western side of Vancouver Island, parts of the ships crew were closed up at "Modified Special Sea Dutymen", basically meaning that there a crew manning the anchors "just in case" and three of us (me plus 2) located, one each, in the wheelhouse, bridge and Engine Room to make log book recordings of course and speed changes.

    Anyhow, I'm in the wheelhouse with a log book and 3 other guys, and this one French kid fresh out of school. Part of a new sailors training is to take a few turns at the wheel to learn how the ship handles.

    As part of the turnover between "drivers", the guy on the wheel would call the bridge and ask permission to do a change-over, and then the new person would call up and repeat the course and speed of the ship and identify himself. Kids name was Fortin (pronounced Fore-tan: see where this is going?)

    So a few minutes go by and then the bridge calls down and orders "Port 10" (turn ships head 10 degrees port). OS Fortin, not quite understanding the English accent answers back "Ordinary Seaman Fortin on the Wheel, Sir." After a very slight pause, there was a second repeat from the Bridge before everyone above and below decks caught on to what was happening, and the Quartermaster took over and put the ship over to the required direction.

    True story. Honest.

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    My destroyer ran aground while entering the harbor at Venice Italy in late 1985.It felt like we were crossing railroad tracks and even with my limited naval experience at the time,I knew that Coontz class tin cans did not cross railroads.
    We had divers working over the side for a few days and due to the water conditions(VERY unsanitary) we had to go over to Trieste Italy over on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea to remove the sonar domes and complete the Med cruise sans sonar.
    We ended up being the first US military unit to visit Trieste since 1952 or thereabouts.Later on,I met a friend's Grandfather who had been in that last US Army unit to leave Trieste.We even had pictures of both events to swap and discuss.
    I don't know what Port Royal's CO is going through but the USS Mahan's captain was extremely irate at the time.I was a BT back then and even during Sea and Anchor detail was trying to run a hotwork chit at the time so we could do some work on a boiler.When it happened,and the Captain started snarling at all and sundry,I just figured I could come back later.
    Of,course the Chief didn't accept that explanation and chewed me a new "ear"hole since he decided on the spot that I needed one. "Son,you don't know if your ears were bored out or punched,do ya?" was the nicest thing he said that day.
    It may still be a punishment but when Missouri ran aground and the Mahan ran aground,there were some changes in Officer Country to follow,including the occupant of the CO's cabin.

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    I've beached a few towboats and barges intentionally,usually just shoving into the bank to wait for a tow to go by or to get close enough to do tow work on them.
    One time,I was running a grocery boat out of Memphis Tn and had caught a southbound towboat and took long enough getting their groceries and personal COD orders taken care of,I was about 6 miles downriver.This was when the company didn't like for the Charlie E to get out of sight of the dispatcher's window up the hill.
    Just under the I-55 bridge here at Memphis,the Mississippi takes a hard turn towards the west and goes SSW for about 8 miles before hanging back towards the East.This is just orientation.On the Mississippi River,you are either Northbound or Southbound.On the Ohio and ICW,you are Eastbound or Westbound.Up river or down river also fills in for a direction.We don't steer compass courses.
    Now,I was coming back as hard as a 225hp 8V-71 Detroit Diesel engine could push a flat bottomed,flat nosed boat and staying out of the current as much as possible.In this case,I was hugging the Arkansas side of the river and making pretty good time,even if the office didn't think so as evidenced by the calls they were sending my way.
    To make sure I was out of the current,I was well inside the dikes(rocks piled up to direct the current away from the bank to scour mud from the channel naturally) only they were covered up at that river level of 21 feet that day.
    Now,to make things more interesting,the boat started riding like a roller coaster and I couldn't think of a reason why,being more concerned with how long it would take to reload the boat for the next customer who was even then calling for traffic at the I-40 bridge five miles upriver.
    Now,the MV Charlie E,God rest her hull,drew 3' of water to the bottom of the hull and the propellor and rudder stuck down another foot.
    Why are these facts,the water level,draft of the boat and how the boat was handling germaine to the situation?
    Because the dikes at Mile 728.0 AHP(Above Head of Passes),located two miles below the lower bridges at Memphis, start showing from the water when the Memphis gage is at 18 feet.That's why.
    When I was riding the rollercoaster,I was running over those dikes and the only thing keeping me from hitting them sinking the boat and making me wish that I had drowned (the company owner's father was Charlie Embrey.anything similar with the boat I was running?)was that enough water was still overrunning the dikes to put a cushion between the rocks and the thin hulled boat I was riding happily oblivious back up to town.
    "Normally",when approaching shallow water,any vessel will start to squat at the stern as the propellor(s) start to draw water away from the bow to keep moving the boat.
    But,someone has to notice that the boat or ship is riding differently than she normally does to take advantage of that factoid.Otherwise,you run aground or if you are lucky,just bump along and wonder why until you have time to figure it out.
    Last edited by doughesson; 02-12-2009 at 12:48 PM.

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    From Here
    So far the only damage discovered is the sonar dome near the front of the vessel, and the tips of the propeller blades are sheared off. The anchors still lay at the bottom.
    If there was enough force to sheer the prop then they have to be concerned with shaft/reduction gear damage..

    Ironically enough:
    The Port Royal had just completed its first day of sea trials after wrapping up a four-month routine maintenance stay at Pearl Harbor.
    Not surprisingly the Commanding Officer has been relieved of duty pending the investigation.
    Last edited by voyager9; 02-12-2009 at 02:24 PM.
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    Lightbulb Hmmm............

    Well, let's see......... Got it. Hey Doug, got an idea. The U.S.Govt. pays Contractors big bucks to do stuff. So, Lets charter a Anchor Handling Tug, and get the Anchors back for the Port Royal. There are some of the AHTs available for Charter in New Orleans, since their normal arena is the Gulf oil fields. Might be a buck to be made out there.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Well, let's see......... Got it. Hey Doug, got an idea. The U.S.Govt. pays Contractors big bucks to do stuff. So, Lets charter a Anchor Handling Tug, and get the Anchors back for the Port Royal. There are some of the AHTs available for Charter in New Orleans, since their normal arena is the Gulf oil fields. Might be a buck to be made out there.........
    I do believe that this would stand under the "Right of Salvage" laws too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Well, let's see......... Got it. Hey Doug, got an idea. The U.S.Govt. pays Contractors big bucks to do stuff. So, Lets charter a Anchor Handling Tug, and get the Anchors back for the Port Royal. There are some of the AHTs available for Charter in New Orleans, since their normal arena is the Gulf oil fields. Might be a buck to be made out there.........
    Better believe it.My latest Waterways Journal has an item in the "Old Boats" column about a US Army Corps of Engineers dredge that I've refuelled back in the 90s before she was retired.
    In the 30s,a boat ran aground on a rapidly falling river.Just how rapidly the crick fell came appearent when someone noticed that the paddlewheel was out of the water.(There were still paddlewheelers in service up into the 40s and 50s)
    Anyway,the dredge Burgess dug a new channel up to the boat and when they were able to hook a few cables to the stuck boat and dragged it into deeper water,the thing almost capsized with all hands on board.That must have been a fun ride to be on.And this was before Walt ever dreamed up the "E Ticket Ride" concept.
    One towboater ran aground in the middle of a farm's field and the river went down before the company could get the boat freed.
    The Captain contacted the home office and asked what he should do next.The reply was 'Take up farming!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    I do believe that this would stand under the "Right of Salvage" laws too.
    Only if every man jack in the crew abandoned ship and the Navy made no effort to recover the ship.
    Given the cost of the weapons onboard,I doubt they'd go that route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    Only if every man jack in the crew abandoned ship and the Navy made no effort to recover the ship.
    Given the cost of the weapons onboard,I doubt they'd go that route.
    Ah yes, that would be true in and of itself, regarding the ship. However, they dumped the chains and anchors........ If nothing else an enterprising young individual with the proper tools and equipment (and a few bits made of "brass) could recover the chains and anchors and then charge the Navy for "Services Rendered".
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    Since this thread is primarily about ship salvage, this story fits well. Its also an interesting story from the point of view on "soveriegnty", "colonialism" and "time expired" (?) thoughts. While I can understand France's point of view on this, I do not believe that they have much to stand on in this regard. France no longer has "vested rights" to North America, and this time its dealing with two independant countries at the same time. Going to be interesting to see how this one pans out.

    France claims historic Great Lakes wreck

    By Randy Boswell, Canwest News ServiceFebruary 17, 2009

    The French government has formally moved to lay claim to one of Canadian history's most important shipwrecks if, as a U.S. relic hunter believes, the 330-year-old Griffon has been discovered at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

    The Griffon, built in 1679 near today's Niagara Falls, Ont., by French explorer Rene-Robert de La Salle, became the first sailing ship on the Great Lakes but was lost in a storm that year on its maiden voyage.

    In 2004, U.S. wreck diver Steve Libert discovered remnants of what he suspects is a 17th-century shipwreck at the north end of Green Bay, near the boundary waters of Michigan and Wisconsin.

    Experts from Chicago's Field Museum have dated wood samples collected at the wreck site to the era of the Griffon, a 25-metre vessel expected to be the flagship of the fur trade empire New France was building in the fledgling days of the future Canada.

    Libert who is engaged in a legal battle with Michigan's attorney general over the ownership of what could be the "Holy Grail" of Great Lakes shipwrecks has urged both the French and Canadian governments to back his efforts to explore and possibly recover an iconic ship with deep historical connections to the two countries.

    Now, the French embassy in Washington has officially weighed into the controversy by filing a legal claim asserting France's ownership of the wreck if and when the Griffon is found.

    "The Republic of France respectfully states that it is the owner of the shipwreck Le Griffon," says a Jan. 27 claim filed in U.S. District Court, "and it has not abandoned its interests in Le Griffon."

    The claim further states the ship was "performing sovereign functions at the time of her loss, including as a vessel of exploration and warship."

    The French claim has Michigan officials mulling their next move, but has already provoked outrage in the state.

    "This could be an important relic for telling Michigan's story," the Detroit News editorialized last week. "France's claim to the vessel is tenuous, and ought to be severed by the courts . . . The Griffon has been sitting in Michigan's waters long enough to have grown Michigan roots."

    But the Canadian government's top underwater archeologist told Canwest News Service last April that the Griffon also has a profoundly important place in this country's colonial history.

    Robert Grenier who is currently leading a federal search for two famous British shipwrecks in the Canadian Arctic from the 19th-century Franklin Expedition said last year that Michigan officials "would like us to do some things'' at the purported Griffon wreck site once the legal issues are resolved.

    He called La Salle's ship "one of the Holy Grails of Canadian marine history,'' adding that the fact that the ship "was not built in Europe makes it more attractive'' to scholars documenting Canada's formative years.

    Libert said on Tuesday that he is still hoping to settle the legal dispute with Michigan and work at the site with state officials as well as with "France and Canada and for the entire good of underwater archeology."

    He added: "To date, the ship hasn't been identified. Michigan is trying to strip that right from my group, the discoverers."

    The French government, he said, is simply notifying the other stakeholders that if the wreck turns out to be the Griffon, "France will assert ownership."

    La Salle, a controversial but towering presence in 17th-century North America, had already helped establish Fort Frontenac (at present-day Kingston, Ont.) and led the European discovery of Niagara Falls before trying to establish a fur trade network on the Upper Great Lakes.

    After the Griffon was built in the summer of 1679, it was sailed across lakes Erie and Huron and into Green Bay. La Salle then turned to overland exploration and sent his flagship back toward Lake Erie, on Sept. 18, 1679, to deliver thousands of furs and other cargo obtained from native traders.

    The ship was never seen again, and La Salle was the first of many searchers who failed to turn up traces of the wreck over the centuries.

    Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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    Well,lessee,just how many French Naval vessels have been continuing the search for "Le Griffon"?If they haven't been looking for her,how does that not abrogate(my big word for the day) their Right to ownership?
    And if they want to get a little froggy about it(no pun intended),they should remember Ted Nugent's opinion of the French before taking on Michigan.Just because the Foreign Legion is made up of bad asses doesn't mean that they will be able to come this way starting anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Since this thread is primarily about ship salvage, this story fits well. Its also an interesting story from the point of view on "soveriegnty", "colonialism" and "time expired" (?) thoughts. While I can understand France's point of view on this, I do not believe that they have much to stand on in this regard. France no longer has "vested rights" to North America, and this time its dealing with two independant countries at the same time. Going to be interesting to see how this one pans out.

    France claims historic Great Lakes wreck

    By Randy Boswell, Canwest News ServiceFebruary 17, 2009

    The French government has formally moved to lay claim to one of Canadian history's most important shipwrecks if, as a U.S. relic hunter believes, the 330-year-old Griffon has been discovered at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

    The Griffon, built in 1679 near today's Niagara Falls, Ont., by French explorer Rene-Robert de La Salle, became the first sailing ship on the Great Lakes but was lost in a storm that year on its maiden voyage.

    In 2004, U.S. wreck diver Steve Libert discovered remnants of what he suspects is a 17th-century shipwreck at the north end of Green Bay, near the boundary waters of Michigan and Wisconsin.

    Now, the French embassy in Washington has officially weighed into the controversy by filing a legal claim asserting France's ownership of the wreck if and when the Griffon is found.

    "The Republic of France respectfully states that it is the owner of the shipwreck Le Griffon," says a Jan. 27 claim filed in U.S. District Court, "and it has not abandoned its interests in Le Griffon."

    The claim further states the ship was "performing sovereign functions at the time of her loss, including as a vessel of exploration and warship."

    The French claim has Michigan officials mulling their next move, but has already provoked outrage in the state.
    The French government, he said, is simply notifying the other stakeholders that if the wreck turns out to be the Griffon, "France will assert ownership."


    The ship was never seen again, and La Salle was the first of many searchers who failed to turn up traces of the wreck over the centuries.

    Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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    F^CK the French!!!
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    Also,if Le Griffon WAS performing her duties as a warship of a soveriegn nation,do the French still consider her to be doing those duties?
    When a warship visits the ports of another nation,there has to be some diplomatic exchange about clearences,rights to operate in the host nation's waters and such.
    The Clintons learned the hard way when they wanted to bring a carrier close to Hong Kong for a photo op that "They alen't 'elections'.You don't just move those things with a thought."
    Anyway,if a French warship is in American waters,when were the clearences and okays discussed?

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    Post Hmmmmmm...............

    Doug, when the Griffon went down there was no America yet. And yeah, I'm with Dickey, the French can go stuff it.

    My real interest in this is why the Griffon foundered. I have my own theories, starting with Gordon Lightfoot's line about the Edmund Fitzgerald "When the Winds of November come early" If the Fitz had only made it to Whitefish Bay............. But that's for another thread..... With the Griffon, I have no doubt that the Human Element was a big factor. People underestimated the Power of the Lakes in rough weather. They still do today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Doug, when the Griffon went down there was no America yet. And yeah, I'm with Dickey, the French can go stuff it.

    My real interest in this is why the Griffon foundered. I have my own theories, starting with Gordon Lightfoot's line about the Edmund Fitzgerald "When the Winds of November come early" If the Fitz had only made it to Whitefish Bay............. But that's for another thread..... With the Griffon, I have no doubt that the Human Element was a big factor. People underestimated the Power of the Lakes in rough weather. They still do today.

    As I meant,Chief,if the ship was doing her lawful soverign duties when she sank,is she still doing so if the French can lay claim to her?
    The Great Lakes are a law unto themselves when it come to weather.There are enough documentaries that show because of their size and shapes,the water doesn't react like open ocean does and that is why so many ships have such short operating lives when working the Lakes.
    Storms stress a ship by bending and twisting her hull even more than just floating in the calm water will do.Ask any aircraft carrier sailor or other large vessel crewman and they'll be able to tell you about seeing the ship bend during a storm.REALLY unnerving.
    Even though it's not that every other ship goes down when they leave port,enough do that setting sail on a good day doesn't mean that you won't see heavy weather.

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