Carrier USS Carl Vinson Deploys from San Diego

Famous ship experiences delay in departure

By Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011  |  Updated 2:54 PM PDT
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Thousands of sailors bid farewell to their families Wednesday as the USS Carl Vinson deploys to the western Pacific Ocean and Middle East.

Thousands of sailors bid farewell to their families Wednesday as the USS Carl Vinson deploys to the western Pacific Ocean and Middle East.

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Families say goodbye to sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Wednesday morning, which departs for the Middle East from Coronado.

The ship was scheduled to leave in the morning, but encountered a mechanical issue and may have to wait until high tide returns to depart. At 11 a.m., the captain told sailors to stand down, as fog was obstructing visibility.

By 1 p.m., the ship had departed.

The USS Carl Vinson returned to San Diego from the Middle East in June will deploy for several more months.

In addition to the USS Carl Vinson's departure, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and guided-missile destroyer left in the morning, and the USS Halsey will depart at 2 p.m.

Before its return to San Diego, the carrier conducted Osama Bin Laden’s burial at sea after a Navy SEAL team killed him in Pakistan in May.

The ship made its mark while in San Diego. It hosted the Carrier Classic basketball game, which was the first basketball game played on a carrier. President Barack Obama attended the game on Veterans Day earlier this month.

About 50 sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson were investigated for using the synthetic drug Spice in October. Two sailors allegedly distributed the drug with one middleman and 46 users. Of the 49 suspects on the USS Carl Vinson, eight have been administratively separated for prior drug use and three have been separated for other reasons.

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