USS Intrepid freed from thick NYC mud
NEW YORK (AP) — A month after a failed attempt to move the USS Intrepid, the historic aircraft carrier was freed Tuesday from the Hudson River anchorage where it had sat for nearly a quarter of a century.
“This old baby is moving,” a joyous Intrepid Foundation President Bill White said aboard the vessel. Some crew members cried and gave each other high-fives and hugs. Onlookers ashore cheered.
After considerable effort, the aircraft carrier inched haltingly away from its anchorage. Finally, it began moving at about 3 to 4 knots, its pier growing more and more distant.
“Move baby, move baby!” the crew and passengers yelled. Then, “We did it, we did it!”
In the previous attempt, thick mud had proved too strong for six “tractor tugs” exerting some 30,000 horsepower. Another battle occured this time, too – the blue water was churned dark brown as tugboats strained to inch the giant vessel away from its longtime home.
“If she doesn’t move, we are going to jump in and push her,” a former crew member, 84-year-old Joe Kobert, said on the Intrepid’s deck before the behemoth began to move on Tuesday.
The smaller boats moved the ship stern first – by its tail-end – into the center of the Hudson River, then nudged the bow until it was parallel with the shore and began heading downstream.
The aircraft carrier-turned-museum was being towed, still backward, down the river toward New York Harbor for a five-mile trip to a shipyard in Bayonne, N.J., where it will undergo renovations.
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