Cruise West floats damaged Spirit of Nantucket to repair yard

The U.S. Coast Guard said that the Spirit of Nantucket, the 207-foot Cruise West ship that went aground last week along the Intracoastal Waterway near Virginia Beach, Va., was refloated and is heading towards a shipyard in Norfolk, Va., for repairs.

The cause of the incident, in which the ship began taking on water and was then intentionally grounded by its captain to prevent it from possibly sinking, is still being investigated.

According to the USCG, the Army Corps of Engineers located a submerged object approximately eight-feet below the surface of the water and removed it.

The Virginian Pilot, a local newspaper, reported that the object was a large hunk of timber with metal plates and spikes on it. The object, which was suspected of damaging the Spirit of Nantucket, was about 40 feet in length, seven to eight feet in height, and about 13 feet wide, the newspaper said.

The report also said that the object, which was removed by a crane, caused a foot-long, two-inch-wide gash in the ship's hull and rudder.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Johanna Jainchill at [email protected].

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