Battleship Texas Springs More Leaks
June 25, 2012
by: Laurie Johnson
The Battleship Texas is an old ship and is bound to spring leaks now and then.
But Ship Manager Andy Smith says new clusters of leaks developed over the weekend after they already made repairs last week.
"Saturday we started experiencing some flooding in our blister tanks, which are these outer that were attached to the ship. And we experienced that flooding and didn't think much of it and started monitoring it and through the day Saturday it progressively got worse."
They started pumping water out and within a few hours, things improved.
Smith says they turned off several of the pumps and thought the ship was getting back to normal.
But they were wrong.
"Somewhere between then and 3 a.m. all these leaks opened up, it appears, because at 3 a.m. as we were making our rounds we noticed a major inflow of water. I mean we're talking gushing water coming in in a number of different places."
Right now, Smith estimates there are about nine different holes in the ship.
The ship is closed at least through the week and possibly into next weekend, depending on how long the repairs take.
"This set of repairs is looking to be a little bit more intensive than the last set. And the reality is, absolutely we could turn around and fix all of these holes, and again Monday morning it have another one."
But Smith points out this isn't the worst the ship has been through. USS Texas was launched 100 years ago and is one of only six remaining ships to have served in both world wars. It earned five battle stars for service during WWII.
"June 25, 1944, Battleship Texas was providing gunfire support for the capture of Cherbourg, the Port of Cherbourg in France. During that, the ship got hit twice by German shore batteries. One, luckily, was a dud. The other one impacted the Conning Tower, which is kind of high up on the ship, and blew upwards and killed the helmsman and injured about eleven other people on the bridge."
Texas Parks and Wildlife is working on a plan to put Battleship Texas into permanent dry berth. It's a plan that's estimated to cost nearly $30 million.
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