The damaged maritime prepositioning ship Sgt. Matej Kocak is headed to the shipyards after being stranded on a coral reef for the better part of two weeks, just six miles off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Workers freed the grounded vessel by offloading enough of the ship's weight ahead of a high tide Feb. 2, officials said.

"Kocak was refloated by lightening the ship's liquid loads (fuel and ballast) and then, with the assistance of tugs, moving her off the reef at a peak high tide," Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Japan, wrote in an email.

The successful freeing of Kocak capped an 11-days of efforts to free the ship. Those trying to free the The 821-foot-long cargo ship were had been was stuck on coral, with those trying to free the massive ship also trying to minimize environmental damage to the reef. created environmental impact considerations for those working the grounding.

The Kocak was currently pierside Thursday at White Beach Navy Pier, Okinawa, Flanders said, adding that workers from Naval Sea Systems Command are completing emergency repairs the ship.

"These temporary emergency repairs are underway; NAVSEA contractors have already patched up the portside hull and internal repairs to restore watertight integrity are ongoing," he said. "All necessary repairs are on schedule for completion by February 21st."

After the temporary fixes are complete, the ship can head out on its own power to the yards where more permanent repairs can be made. The location hasn't been identified yet because the repair work is out to bid, Flanders said.

The U.S. Navy cargo ship Matej Kocak is seen Jan. 22 off the coast of Uruma, Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

Photo Credit: Japan Coast Guard via AFP

The ship will depart Okinawa by the end of the month, he said.

The Navy sent divers and as well as independent marine biologists down to survey the damage to the reef, Flanders said, and forwarded the findings to the Japanese government.

"The surveys found there was some physical scarring of the reef, but it was in a much smaller area than initially believed," he said.

The Kocak ran aground Jan. 22 at about 11:30 a.m. local time on an ebb tide near the southern portion of the island, according to information released by Navy officials familiar with the incident.

Once it was determined that the ship was hard aground, the Navy held the ship in place while divers did an assessedment of the damage to the hull, which was resting on a rocky bed of sand and reef.

There were 38 civilian crew aboard, as well as 67 Army personnel and 26 Marines, at the time of the grounding. An investigation into the causes of the grounding is underway.

David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.

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