MONTREAL, QUEBEC (WIVB) – By now, the Navy had hoped that the new USS Little Rocj would be arriving at its home port near Jacksonville, Florida.
Instead, the combat ship is docked in Montreal.
The ship and its sailors are safe, but they’re a lot colder than they hoped they’d be, several weeks into their maiden journey.
The Navy commissioned the littoral combat ship in Buffalo in December, when winter was already looming. Ice had started forming at the base of the Buffalo River and around the harbor.
The ship departed Dec. 20. Delays followed in the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway before the crew arrived in Montreal around Christmas.
While in Montreal, routine ship repairs were made, including repairing a cable associated with the ship’s steering. Repairs were completed Jan. 4. Icy conditions have delayed the ship’s departure, due the the limited availability of tugs in the area.
Lt. Commander Courtney Hillson told News 4 that they soon hope to have a better idea of what comes next.
“We continue working with Port Authority tugs, experts, and technological representatives to ensure the best path forward,” Hillson said.
The sailors on board the USS Little Rock continue to operate the ship.