Military Sealift Command Ship Successfully Refloated
The surge sealift vessel USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005) was successfully refloated today and transited under its own power to Naval Fleet Activities White Beach in Okinawa, Japan, Feb. 3.
Safely refloating the vessel required the right sea state, the right tide, and right weather conditions to lessen any risks to personnel, the ship, and the environment. The U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving oversaw salvage operations and was supported by U.S. Navy damage controlmen and professional salvors.
The ship safely arrived pier side at 7:42 p.m. today.
Kocak ran aground on the morning of Jan. 22 approximately six nautical miles south off the coast of Uruma, Okinawa.
No one was injured during the incident.
A tanker vessel safely offloaded fuel Mon., Feb.2 to lighten the vessel during the high tide cycle in preparations to refloat the vessel. An environmental response team was on standby as a precautionary measure.
Now that the ship has been refloated, the U.S. Navy will work closely with our Japanese partners to assess any potential damage to the area.
The cause of the incident is under investigation by Military Sealift Command and the U.S. Coast Guard.