USS Little Rock Navy Ship stuck in Montreal Port
The USS Little Rock was supposed to be back home at port in Florida by now – but a harsh Canadian winter has proven tougher than the ‘3400 tons of displacement’ US Navy combat ship is capable of.
After leaving Buffalo NY on December 16th, where the ship was commissioned, they were heading towards Montreal along the St. Lawrence River – just as the severe cold weather was hitting us. The USS Little Rock and her sailors were preparing to sail into the open waters of the Atlantic when they encountered ice so thick and heavy, they were only able to get as far as Habitat 67 – and the ship has been moored in the Old Port area since December 24th.
Although capable of ‘open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft, the ship is designed to operate in near-shore environments’, according to a post on their website. In other words, the US $440 million ship is built for speed, not breaking ice.
In the meantime, the ship is docked in an area where it is protected from being hit by ice. Little Rock’s sailors, who call themselves the ‘Warhawgs’ are making the best of things. The crew has been given supplies to help keep them warm and keeping busy with training, shoveling snow and scraping ice off the decks – but they are also having a little fun. They have been checking out our fine city on their off-time and have even posted a video on their Facebook page (USS Little Rock Blue Crew – Warhawgs) showing sailors tossing boiling hot water overboard and watching it freeze in mid-air.
“It’s not the worst place to be stuck,” Ensign Samantha Robbins told CBC News in a report on January 24th.
Perhaps they have learned something from Montrealers – if you can’t break the ice, why not just play on the ice? Ensign Bonnie from the Montreal Times signing out!