A brand-new U.S. Navy warship has not moved from Montreal since Christmas Eve and will spend the winter stuck in Canada due to cold and ice.
The USS Little Rock – unveiled in a ceremony on Dec. 16 in Buffalo, New York and attended by nearly 9,000 people – has not moved far since due to adverse weather conditions that kept the warship trapped at bay in Canada, the Toronto Star reported.
The warship known as a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) cost $440 million to build and stretches 387 feet in length and weighs 15 tons more than the Statue of Liberty. It is capable of traveling more than 46 miles per hour.
Such combat ships are described as agile and designed for rapid transitions between missions with minimal manning. They are used for surface warfare, counter piracy and drug operations, as well as other first response missions.
In the wake of weather problems, the ship has been reportedly equipped with heaters and de-icers to reduce ice accumulation on the hull.
The U.S. Navy spokeswoman told The Star the ship will remain inactive in Montreal and will not move towards its home port in Mayport, Fla. until weather conditions improve.
“The temperatures in Montreal and throughout the transit area have been colder than normal, and included near-record low temperatures, which created significant and historical conditions in the late December, early January time frame,” Lt.-Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told the newspaper.
“Keeping the ship in Montreal until waterways are clear ensures the safety of the ship and crew, and will have limited impact on the ship’s operational schedule.”
The navy official did not say whether it is a common practice for ships to be delayed due to bad weather, but said other ships encountered no transit problems in December.
The crew stationed on the ship was provided with cold-weather clothing and will focus on mission training while the delay continues.