The U.S. Navy research vessel damaged in a recent drydock incident in Scotland has been righted and refloated.
On March 22, the 3,710-ton Petrel took a violent 45-degree list to port while under repair at the Leith drydock, near Edinburgh, Scotland, after being in lay-up since September 2020.
The cause of Petrel slipping its supports in the drydock is under investigation by both U.S. and U.K. officials.
According to the Edinburgh Herald, 35 people were injured – several seriously – including a dockworker who suffered a fractured pelvis and dislocated shoulder when he was flung across the vessel’s deck.
The extent of the damage to the ship was not disclosed by either U.S. or British sources.
The Navy acquired the vessel last year for $12.4 million from the estate of the late Microsoft founder Paul Allen. Originally under Isle of Man registry, the Petrel had sailed as part of the Allen-owned oceanography research group Vulcan, which utilized the vessel to locate and study historically significant shipwrecks.
Over the past six years, the ship was credited with locating the remains of more than 30 wrecks including three iconic U.S. Navy ships lost in action during World War II – the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp, the cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis, and the destroyer U.S.S. Johnston.
Petrel was last operated by Oceaneering International, the Houston, Tx.-based subsea engineering and applied technology company.
A team led by the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center was onsite to evaluate the situation, according to a spokesman for the Port Hueneme, Calif.-based U.S. Navy command, who added that the vessel was acquired by the Navy “to support the service’s efforts in maritime security.”
Information on how specifically the Navy plans to use the vessel was not forthcoming, but the Royal Navy took delivery earlier this year of the first of two vessels it will operate “to help protect undersea cables and pipelines from sabotage,” according to Defense News.