Yesterday this ship, carrying containers bound for Kauai, ran aground in Saipan, an island in the Northern Marianas 120 miles north of Guam and loosely under American jurisdiction. The ship had been trapped on a reef in the Saipan channel.
The "Paul Russ," 500 feet long and weighing 16,000 tons was saved in part by the weather. Captain Pruett said, "The weather helped us a lot with the wind driving in one direction, the tide in another. With heavy weather and larger waves moving in, we were able to pull the vessel off the reef." None of the 17 crew members was injured and no oil leaks occurred.
There are two 40-foot containers aboard that hold precious items for Iraivan Temple, including the five-ton metal auvudaiyar, the four-foot Nandi and important sculptures for the Nandi Mandapam, plus the five metal Sadasiva bronzes that will be installed on three sides of the vimanam and the black granite statues of Gurudeva and Bodhinatha.
The ship will be carefully inspected before it continues its voyage toward Hawaii.
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