Arizona Memorial reopening to visitors after dock repaired




HONOLULU (AP) -- Visitors may visit the USS Arizona Memorial once more now that the Navy has finished repairing a dock damaged in a mishap involving a hospital ship and two tugboats, the National Park Service said Friday.

The park service and Navy had to suspend tours to the Pearl Harbor landmark for more than a week after last Wednesday's incident. The Navy finished repairing the dock on Thursday, the park service said. The Navy will inspect the dock for safety each morning before the first tour.

The park service expects strong demand for the 4,350 tickets available each day because no visitors have been able to go to the memorial since May 26.

The Navy's Military Sealift Command and the U.S. Coast Guard have each launched investigations into the mishap.

The Navy said the Mercy may have hit the dock as the vessels maneuvered out of Pearl Harbor. Waves generated by one of the Mercy's propellers pushed the dock about 10 feet toward the memorial.

The memorial honors the 1,177 sailors and Marines on the Arizona who died when Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. More than 900 servicemen are still entombed on the battleship, which lies in the harbor.

Visitors ride boats operated by the Navy to visit the memorial, which sits atop the sunken ship. The Navy had been taking visitors to a spot near the memorial to view it from afar while repair work was performed.

The mishap inflicted superficial damage to the memorial itself.

There was no damage to the battleship, and no apparent damage to the Mercy.


Online: www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press modified.

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