Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda announced that the Monongahela, one of the government-owned obsolete ships stored at the James River Fleet, was successfully refloated this morning after being aground since Nov. 13. The ship was refloated during high tide at 11:00 a.m. this morning.
The Monongahela ran aground after a three day storm with hurricane force winds caused the vessel to break free of its mooring and drift into shallow water.
“The Maritime Administration took extraordinary and careful measures to free this ship,” said Administrator Matsuda. “We are looking at exactly how this happened and what we need to do to make sure it doesn't happen again.”
The Maritime Administration contracted with Titan Salvage to get the ship free. Now that the Monongahela has been refloated and pulled back into deeper water, the ship will be inspected and towed to its proper mooring site in the James River Reserve Fleet where it will be re-anchored and firmly secured. The tow back to its correct mooring position at the fleet site is scheduled to occur during the daylight hours on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2009.