The once-crashed attack submarine San Francisco left Puget Sound for San Diego on Tuesday morning, more than four years after an accident that killed one crewman and injured 97 of 137 sailors on board.
On Jan. 8, 2005, the ship crashed into an undersea mountain 350 miles south of Guam, crushing the nose. After crossing the Pacific Ocean on the surface it arrived at the naval complex near Kitsap, Wash., in September 2005 and went into the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility for repairs in October 2006, according to Lt. Kyle Raines, spokesman at Submarine Group 9. He said it went into dry dock in December 2006 and was returned to the water in October 2008.
It does my heart good to see my old ship back underway. I know it cost a lot of money to get the new nose on her, but it was worth it. A) Because she has new reactor on her that is only 7 years old and B) We owed it to the spirit of the submarine force, and to Joey Ashley, to get her back underway and physically demonstrate our ability to overcome tragedy, recover, and carry on.