Saltwater pump airdropped to repair barque Eagle

GULF OF MEXICO — An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Miami, Fla., drops a replacement saltwater pump for the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle's main diesel engine, April 14, 2012. The main diesel engine's saltwater pump began leaking, which reduced the effectiveness of the engine's cooling system.

A Coast Guard plane airdropped a saltwater pump to the barque Eagle Sunday so the ship's main diesel engine could be repaired.

Eagle was on its way to New Orleans for the Operation Sail events on Thursday when engineers realized the saltwater pump was leaking, according to a statement today from the Coast Guard Academy. The problem worsened throughout the day and the replacement pump was ordered while the Eagle anchored off Key West, Fla.

A Coast Guard small boat delivered a replacement pump Friday night. Engineers worked throughout the night on the repairs to the ship's engine, but the part did not fit properly.

The engineers ordered another pump and temporary repaired the engine so the barque could arrive on time for the events to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Once the part arrived in Key West, an air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami retrieved it and delivered it to the Eagle in the Gulf of Mexico. The crew airdropped the part to a small boat crew from the Eagle.

The engineering department was able to replace the pump. Eagle is expected to arrive in New Orleans this afternoon as planned.

To follow the Eagle's summer cruise, visit the ship's Facebook page at


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