USS Fitzgerald Damaged Again
The USS Fitzgerald suffered two punctures to its hull on Sunday while being loaded onto the heavy lift ship that was to take her from Japan to the U.S.
Already damaged as a result of the June collision, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was headed to Mississippi for repairs but was forced to return to her home port in Yokosuka, Japan, after damage from the heavy lift vessel Transshelf's steel supports during loading.
Repairs are expected to extend the on load process by a few days, after which Transshelf will transport USS Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, for further repairs and upgrades.
USS Fitzgerald was towed to deep water to begin the heavy lift process on November 24. In the months prior to her departure from Yokosuka, technicians and shipbuilders at Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka made significant progress in preparing the ship for the journey, including dewatering, defueling, hull and superstructure repairs, and placing key systems in layup maintenance. In October, she was moved from dry dock to a pierside location in anticipation of the move.
USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal on June 17. Seven Sailors lost their lives and the ship was damaged on her starboard side above and below the waterline.