USS Vella Gulf forced to return to port after fuel oil leak

The cruiser is part of deployed Eisenhower CSG
USS Vella Gulf
Posted at 12:53 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-14 22:01:44-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The USS Vella Gulf is back underway on deployment following its return to port after suffering a fuel oil leak while crossing the Atlantic Ocean on deployment.

The Vella Gulf is part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group that left Hampton Roads on February 18 for what's known as a "double-pump" deployment - their second in a year.

A spokeswoman for U.S. 2nd Fleet confirms to News 3 that the Vella Gulf reported a fuel oil leak in of the ship's engineering spaces while crossing the Atlantic in "heavy seas."

The Navy determined repairs to the Vella Gulf needed to be made in port. The cruiser safely returned to Naval Station Norfolk on February 26 on its own.

On March 3, the Navy shared that engineers had determined the leak "was due to single tank corrosion."

On March 13, a spokesperson for U.S. 2nd Fleet reported that repairs were completed and the ship is back underway on deployment.

News 3 received another update on March 14 that after being repaired and getting underway on deployment, Vella Gulf is once again back at Naval Station Norfolk.

“After getting underway, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) returned to Naval Station Norfolk this afternoon for technical assessment of the repairs made to the ship’s fuel oil tank. More information will be provided once it becomes available,” U.S. 2nd Fleet Spokesperson said.

News 3 has also confirmed that the Navy does not believe the damage was caused by the heavy seas Vella Gulf experienced while crossing the Atlantic as the ship remained within established limits.

The rest of the ships in the strike group are unaffected and remain deployed.