On Second Try, Intrepid Agrees to Leave Dock

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ABOARD THE INTREPID IN THE HUDSON RIVER, Dec. 5 — The Intrepid is no longer stuck in the mud.

This morning, one month after the first attempt failed, a team of tugboats yanked the old, gray ship from its berth on the West Side of Manhattan, where it has served as a military museum for 24 years.

After three weeks of dredging provided by the United States Navy to clear the Intrepid’s four giant propellers from the river bottom for a second try, the lead tug, the Christine M. McAllister, started pulling at 8:30 a.m.

For the first 25 minutes, the ship hardly budged, and officials who had gathered for the event looked concerned. But just before 9 a.m., the Intrepid began slipping away from the pier.

“We got it!” said Pat Kinnier, who was overseeing the towing, as officials in charge of the ship and the towing operation embraced one another on a rear deck of the Intrepid, and about 100 people watched from the neighboring pier.

Once the 900-foot-long World War II-era aircraft carrier was finally clear of the berth that has been its home since 1982, the tugs began towing it stern-first down the river toward the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. After a slow five-mile voyage, the Intrepid is scheduled to tie up later today in Bayonne, N.J., where it will spend several weeks in drydock next spring as its hull is sandblasted and repainted.

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