Navy Taps Patriot Shipping to Transport USS Fitzgerald to Pascagoula
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has selected Patriot Shipping to transport the collision-damaged destroyer USS Fitzgerald, to Pascagoula, Miss., for repairs and return to service.
The Navy announced in an Aug 25 release that the Military Sealift Command had awarded Patriot a $3.1 million contract to provide a heavy-lift ship to transport the Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Huntington Ingalls was selected on Aug. 23 by the Navy to repair the Fitzgerald. The lift is to be completed by November.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer was severely damaged June 17 when it collided of the coast of Japan with the ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flag container ship. Seven Sailors died and three were injured in the incident. The destroyer sustained a large hole in the starboard hull at and below the waterline.
Fitzgerald, which was able to return to its homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, was inspected by Navy and industry officials. It was determined that the ship would be transported to the United States for repairs on a lift ship.
After the USS Cole, a sister ship of the Fitzgerald, was severely damaged in October 2000 by a terrorist attack that holed the hull of the ship, the Norwegian-flag lift ship MV Blue Marlin transported the Cole to Pascagoula for repairs.
Patriot Shipping is headquartered in Houston.