Navy says USS Vella Gulf fuel leak caused by ‘single tank corrosion’

Norfolk

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) arrives at Marathi NATO Pier facility for a routine port visit. Vella Gulf is conducting theater and maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chelsy Alamina)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A spokesperson with the U.S. Navy 2nd Fleet says the reason for the USS Vella Gulf returning to homeport Norfolk was due to a fuel leak caused by “single tank corrosion.”

The ship left for deployment from Naval Station Norfolk last week only to return on Feb. 26 for technical assessment and repair of a leak in one of the ship’s fuel oil tanks. This would’ve been the second deployment in six months for the crew.

“Technical experts assess the leak was due to single tank corrosion. Repair timeline is under refinement and upon completion; the ship will resume its mission,” according to the spokesperson.

“Vella Gulf remains in a deployed status, and safety measures are in place to ensure the crew remains COVID- free during the repair. This is an ongoing situation and more information will be provided once it becomes available,” they continued.

Officials say that there is nothing at this time to suggest the damage was related to or exacerbated by the sea-state and that while operating in elevated seas, Vella Gulf was still “within established safe limits.” 

Additionally, the ship reportedly deviated on its return home to “navigate around more severe weather and avoid worse sea conditions.”

The rest of the ships in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group will remain underway.

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