The USS Intrepid got stuck in the mud Monday when it left its New York dock for a $60 million makeover, cutting short a sendoff ceremony for the museum ship that included the police band and waving dignitaries.
The World War Two aircraft carrier that has served as a floating museum for the past 25 years was due for the 18-month renovation in New Jersey.
Plans had called for tugging the Intrepid down the Hudson River, past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and into a terminal in Bayonne, a few miles away. The trip was to take about seven or eight hours.
But tugboats could barely move the 872-foot-long ship when it got stuck in 17 feet of silt after moving just 15 feet.
“I just don’t think she wants to leave New York yet after 25 years. I can’t blame her,” said museum director Susan Marenoff.
The sendoff for the popular tourist attraction, which displayed fighter planes on its flight deck, included the New York Police Department band playing patriotic songs and dignitaries such as U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer and former New York Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins.
Some dredging had taken place before the move and the tug organization and Intrepid management were meeting to determine what went wrong and what to do next, Marenoff said.
An Essex class carrier, the Intrepid was commissioned in 1943 and used against Japan, surviving several attacks in the Pacific.