13 July, 2018
A dry dock containing a newbuild ship for the Military Sealift Command inadvertently flooded overnight at the General Dynamics NASSCO Shipyard in San Diego.
The dry dock is supporting the construction of the future USNS Miguel Keith, a new Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) under construction for the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.
A statement from NASSCO obtained by local CBS News 8 said there were no injuries but impacts to the ship were still being assessed.
“Last night, there was a flooding incident with the graving dock used to support construction of the future USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5). There were no injuries. The ship is safe and in stable condition. Personnel are currently assessing impact to the ship,” the statement read.
Photos and video posted to social media show debris floating in the dry dock along with booming that has been placed down.
Photo posted by NASSCO in May shows the ESB 5 (future USNS Miguel Keith under construction in dry dock.
No word yet on what caused the dry dock to flood, but unconfirmed reports suggest the dry dock wall failed to cause an ingress of water from the Bay.
USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) will be the fifth ship in the Montford Point class, the centerpiece of the Navy’s so-called “seabasing” capabilities.
A keel laying ceremony for USNS Miguel Keith was held in January 2018, marking the official start of construction at NASSCO. In June, the company said on Facebook that the final prefabricated block had been put in place in the dry dock. The company also posted a video of showing its progress.
NASSCO is located on San Diego Bay and is a major shipbuilding contractor for the U.S. government.
The Montford Point class includes the USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2), both currently in service. The first of the ESB variant, USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), was delivered to the USNS fleet in 2015 but in August 2017 was commissioned as an USS ship on station in Bahrain. The USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) was christened in October and is expected to deliver to Military Sealift Command at the end of February.