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Pearl Harbor shipyard crew responds to sub collision in Persian Gulf
A rapid deployment team of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard engineers and mechanics flew to the Persian Gulf yesterday to support a U.S. Navy submarine involved in a collision there Friday.
"Our Shipyard Team excels at rapid response in situations such as this," said Capt. Greg R. Thomas, shipyard commander. "True to our legacy, whether flying to Guam or Bahrain to repair stricken submarines or responding to a mishap right off our coast, Pearl Harbor workers consistently adapt and succeed in any adverse situation."
The nuclear submarine USS Hartford collided with the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans in the Strait of Hormuz early Friday morning. The 12 shipyard personnel will assess the damage to Hartford and begin in-theater repairs, officials said.
Additional shipyard personnel will fly to the region later this week. They will return upon completion of their mission.
The New Orleans suffered a ruptured fuel tank, resulting in an oil spill of approximately 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel, the Navy said. The propulsion plant of the submarine was unaffected by the collision, officials said.
According to the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, 15 sailors aboard the Hartford were slightly injured but able to return to duty. No injuries were reported aboard the New Orleans and both ships were operating under their own power.
Oil prices reversed course and traded higher last week on the news of the collision in the Strait of Hormuz, the portal for about 40 percent of all seaborne traded oil last year.
Shipyard personnel routinely deploy throughout the Asia-Pacific Region for engineering, maintenance and repair missions, officials said. In addition, rapid deployment teams respond to incidents such as the Hartford collision.
A shipyard team deployed to Bahrain on short notice after a Japanese oil tanker and the submarine USS Newport News collided in early January 2007.
The circumstances surrounding the Strait of Hormuz collision are currently under investigation, the Navy said.
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii with a combined civilian and military workforce of about 4,700. It has an operating budget of $620 million, of which more than $390 million is payroll for civilian employees.