Rush quits mission after hull cracks

Philip Ewing reported today in Navy Times that:

The Coast Guard cutter Rush had to turn back Sunday from a search-and-rescue mission off Alaska when the ship began taking on water because of cracks in its hull, Coast Guard officials said Wednesday.

Sailing in 20-foot seas as it joined other Coast Guard ships and aircraft in the search for a downed Japanese balloonist off the Aleutian Islands, the Rush suffered a 2-foot horizontal crack in its starboard bow just above the waterline, permitting water to enter a forward pump room. As of Sunday, the ship’s crew had slowed the flooding to about a gallon per hour, and the cutter was in no danger, said Coast Guard spokesman Cmdr. Brendan McPherson.

The 378-foot Rush was expected to put in at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, as early as Wednesday. The cutter Jarvis has been sent to take its place in the search-and-rescue effort. The Honolulu-based Rush has been at sea for 88 days, the Coast Guard said.

Although he didn’t mention the cutter by name, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff cited the hull crack aboard the Rush in presenting his fiscal 2009 budget request Monday, as an example of how badly he said the Coast Guard needs to add new ships to its fleet. The Rush was launched in 1968 and its career began alongside Navy warships patrolling off Vietnam.

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One Comment

  1. Deb Yeager says:

    I wrote the senators from Michigan telling them to approve the new budget for the Coast Guard. The men and women of the Coast Guard do much for the U.S.A. and they deserve the best equipment and ships in the world. I suggest everyone read the 2008 Posture Statement and urge Congress to properly fund the Coast Guard.