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Thursday, August 11, 2005Past Issues - S | M | T | W | T | F | S
 
South Jersey

!-- Insert DATE under here -->October 29, 1999
Tug trouble slows ship's trip

By BOB INGLE
Gannett State Bureau


TRENTON - The battleship USS New Jersey will not arrive in Philadelphia on Nov. 7 as scheduled because the tug towing it, the Sea Victory, is experiencing engine trouble, a spokesman for Crowley Marine Services said Wednesday.

"One of its engines blew a turbo. That was replaced, and the replacement turbo blew," Ryan Malane said. "Another 7,200-horsepower tug from our Lake Charles, La., facility has been sent to help."

The malfunction, which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, will delay the ship's arrival in Philadelphia at least three days.

The Sea Victory left Bremerton, Wash., on Sept. 12, with the famed battleship in tow en route to Philadelphia, where the ship will wait for the Navy to decide whether Camden or Bayonne will be home to the "Big J" in its new role as floating museum.

The malfunction reduced the Sea Victory to running on one engine at 2 or 3 knots, about half its usual speed in the open sea. A knot is equal to about 1.15 mph.

"This is not unusual," Malane said. "These things happen."

Originally, the Navy's most decorated battleship was scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia on Nov. 4 or 5. However, the arrival was delayed so that celebrations could be organized on and along the Delaware River.

Gov. Christie Whitman planned to rent a Cape May-Lewes ferry boat, the MV Twin Capes, for an invitation-only ride up the Delaware to view the ship Nov. 7. Among the invited guests on the 1,000-person vessel were about 600 veterans.

In general, tug Capt. Kaare Ogaard described the trip as routine and uneventful.

The tug has an eight-man crew and is attached to the New Jersey with a 2 3/4-inch-thick cable 2,700 feet long. No one is aboard the battleship. The trip from Washington state to Philadelphia is about 5,800 miles.

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