After hull-puncture delay, USS Fitzgerald starts journey to US

After developing a new crack in its hull during the first departure from Yokosuka, US Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald started its voyage to the US for a second time on December 9.

Fitzgerald was initially loaded aboard heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf in late November to be transported to Pascagoula, Mississippi, for repairs after colliding with a merchant tanker on June 17.

The destroyer had to be returned to Yokosuka on December 1, however, after a steel support structure installed on MV Transshelf punctured Fitzgerald’s hull during the onload process, requiring repairs in port.

The repairs have been completed and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) departed anchorage in Yokosuka Harbor December 9, aboard heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf.

Transshelf will transport Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard for repairs and upgrades.

USS John S. McCain, another US Navy destroyer involved in a collision with a merchant vessel in the Pacific this year, was also damaged during its transit from Singapore to Japan aboard heavy lift transport vessel.

While aboard MV Treasure, USS John S. McCain developed a four inch crack in her hull on the starboard side, amidships, in addition to a small dent.

Unlike USS Fitzgerald, the navy estimated that USS John S. McCain did not suffer as much damage and assessed that the US Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka can complete the repairs.