U.S. Destroyer Will Not Be Allowed to Dock in Ishigaki Island

Officials in Ishigaki City, part of Okinawa Prefecture, denied access to the U.S. Navy destroyer U.S.S. Rafael Peralta on February 9th, forcing her to dock offshore the island and her sailors to be brought ashore.

The destroyer wasn’t permitted due to safety conditions regarding the draft and the distance between the bottom of the ship and the ocean floor of the vessel.

Ishihgaki’s deepest point is 34.4 feet (10.5 m), and Rafael Peralta’s draft is 32.1 feet (9.8m). A formula used to regulate what is considered safe is “required depth=draft of vessel multiplied by 1.1.” Using this formula, the required depth for the destroyer would be 10.78 meters (35.3 feet).

A local newspaper, the Ryukyu Shimpo, reported that the vessel will anchor at a “quarantine anchorage” of approximately 1.86 miles (3km) offshore.

Ishigaki Island is close to Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands, also claimed by China, and is called the Diaoyu Islands.