Published on Thursday, May 28, 2015

USS Arizona Memorial tours suspended after ship collision

Tours on the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor are currently suspended after a collision at the Memorial involving a US Navy hospital ship.

The National Park Service said a tug boat guiding the USNS Mercy hospital ship out of the harbor struck the memorial and the floating dock was damaged in the collision.

A message on the National Park Service website says after an initial inspection no damage has been found at the sunken hull of the USS Arizona.

An investigation is underway and no visitors will be allowed onto the Memorial until further notice, the NPS said. It gave no timeline for an expected reopening.

The USS Arizona Memorial receives about 4,000 visitors a day.

NPS Spokeswoman Abby Wines said boats are operating out of Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, taking visitors to a spot close to the Memorial where it can be viewed from the water.

"Today what we're doing is a workaround to give people an opportunity for some experience at the USS Arizona," Wines said.

"The regular Navy white boats that can accommodate 150 people on each trip are going out every 15 minutes to view the Arizona from a distance."

All other facilities of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, including the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Bowfin Submarine are open as usual.

"We definitely want visitors to know that if this is your only trip to Oahu, you're only here for a week or so, come out and visit us anyway. There are still plenty of things to see here," Wines said.

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