Anti-war protesters launched 16 canoes in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the ammunition ship U.S.S.?
Anti-war protesters launched 16 canoes in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the ammunition ship U.S.S. Nitro sailing to Vietnam on Monday (April 24) - and when the ship prepared to leave, six crewmen and a petty officer leapt overboard to join the demonstrators.
The incident climaxed two days of demonstrations which began on Sunday (April 23) when activities burst into the Earle Naval Ammunition depot at Leonardo, New Jersey, and tried to throw themselves onto railway tracks to block trains carrying ammunition to the ship.
Police arrested about 20 members of the group and charged them with trespassing on federal property and unlawful assembly.
On Monday, other members of the group launched canoes and rowing boats in another protest. One canoe capsized, but its two occupants were picked up by the coast guard.
Coast Guard security forces were called in by the Navy to "ensure the timely and uninterrupted passage" of the U.S.S. Nitro. As the ship pulled away from the New Jersey docks, the crewmen jumped overboard -- only to be picked up by the coastguard and returned to the ship.
SYNOPSIS: The U.S.S. Nitro....a munitions ship that anti-war protesters in the United States didn't want to go to Vietnam...and tried to stop with a flotilla of rowing boats and canoes.
The attempt was unsuccessful and the numbers of the group depleted further. A day earlier, about 20 of them were arrested after they'd burst into the Earle Naval Ammunition Depot nearby... and tried to throw themselves onto railway tracks to stop ammunition trains reaching the ship. police charged them with trespassing and unlawful assembly. Coast guards were called in by the navy to make sure the Nitro left port on time.
A coast guard launch and one of the demonstrators' boats later collided, knocking its occupants overboard. But they were unharmed and none the worse for the experience.
Then, as the Nitro prepared to sail, six of its crew and a petty officer jumped overboard. They swam towards the demonstrators ... but were picked up by the coastguard cutter and later returned to their ship.