Plan afoot to take damaged destroyer home by FLO/FLO vessel
THE US Navy is advertising for a Float On/Float Off (FLO/FLO) vessel to move the severely damaged USS Fitzgerald from the Far East to the US Gulf or US east coast ports.
According to the August 4 Federal Business Opportunities solicitation, the Navy is looking for "one US or foreign flag vessel capable of transporting an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
The cost to repair the Fitzgerald could easily exceed US$500 million, much of which will be needed to fix the extensive damage of the ship's electronic systems, USNI (US Naval Institute) News said.
The June 17 collision between the Fitzgerald and NYK's Panama-flagged containership ACX Crystal off the coast of Honshu, Japan, killed seven US Navy sailors.
The Fitzgerald is 8,315-tons and 505 feet long, while the ACX Crystal is much larger, with a gross tonnage of 29,000 tons and a length of 728 feet.
Said US Navy spokeswoman Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler: "We are in the early stages of the investigation and do not have any definitive information to release at this time."
But CNN reported that preliminary findings suggest the accident was caused by multiple errors by the Fitzgerald's crew.