Fishermen breach USS Nimitz security
Three inebriated local fishermen on Monday night managed to breach the elaborate security ring around the USS Nimitz and board one of its water taxis, berthed near the aircraft carrier.
The three fishermen sneaked aboard 'Glen DHP', one of the three water taxis brought from Singapore to ferry crew and visitors between the ship and shore. On discovering the intruders around 8 pm, the captain of the ferry alerted the special control room at the Chennai Port, which immediately relayed the information to the police patrol boat in the area.
The intruders, on spotting the patrol boat, jumped into their motorboat and started speeding away. Only after the police warned them over the PA system that they would open fire did the intruders' boat come to a halt after almost an hour-long chase.
The three occupants were taken to the local police station and on interrogation were found to be fishermen from Kasimedu in North Chennai. The three — Ramesh, Kanna and Bhaskar — who were completely drunk, disclosed that they had boarded the water taxi to retrieve their net, which had been snared by the ferry while they were fishing.
The three are being detained for further questioning. According to police sources, a huge security ring consisting of coast guard and police patrols has been active around Nimitz and other warships of the strike force. "We'll tighten the security ring as we do not want another security breach. The next time it need not be some drunk fishermen," said a senior police officer.
Even at the Chennai port, a heavily fortified security perimeter has been erected by the US Navy through which only authorised personnel, invitees and crew members can pass to board the water taxis or the destroyer USS Pinckney, which is berthed in the harbour.
USS Pinckney, incidentally, became somewhat of a consolation prize for nearly 200 guests, specially invited on Monday evening for an I-Day reception aboard the Nimitz. The trip to Nimitz, anchored 3 kms away from the Chennai Port, was cancelled since the sea was too choppy and transferring untrained people from the water taxis to a floating platform attached to the Nimitz was considered too risky by the US Naval authorities. So the guests were given a tour of Pinckney instead.