Skip to comments.Nuclear Submarine Runs Aground South of Guam
Posted on 01/08/2005 3:19:47 AM PST by Jet Jaguar
HONOLULU (AP) - A nuclear submarine ran aground about 350 miles south of Guam, injuring several sailors, one of them critically, the Navy said.
There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco's reactor plant, which was operating normally, the Navy said.
Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor, said the Friday afternoon incident is under investigation and the 360-foot submarine was headed back to its home port in Guam.
Details on the sailors' injuries were not immediately available. The sub has a crew of 137, officials said.
Military and Coast Guard aircraft from Guam were en route to monitor the submarine and assist if needed, the Navy said.
Guam is a U.S. territory about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.
On the Net:
U.S. Pacific Fleet: http://www.cpf.navy.mil
I did part of a yard period in Newport News. Those guys and girls really know how to build a tight ship.
Never had a bad incident with them. They were professionals and cared very much about the ships they built.
Good to have ya aboard bubblehead! I never knew there were so many submariners on FR. Its a pleasant surprise to find out there are quite a few!
FYI: Copied and pasted the ping list to a file so we have a backup if needed.
No, Scamp was a Pacific fleet boat homeported in San Diego in my era (60's). I was on from late 63 (just after JFK assasination) to July 64.
Unless you have BTDT, please keep comments like that to yourself.
Yep. The intakes were stamped "606-S" meaning it was replaced for the sub-safe program. That was a "oulie" on the Eng/seawater qual.
I saw an original "606" intake in a PNSY warehouse while we were in dry-dock about 1981-82.
Glad to hear that your sons are ok.
It must have been quite a rough time for them and the crew. I can't begin to imagine their stress and thoughts. It sounds like only quick action and proper training kept that sub together. The entire crew deserve a lot of praise for getting her back to port. I hope their heroic actions are well-noted and recognized.
Prayers continue for your sons and the rest of the families of the SF, especially those of MM2(SS) Ashley.
Eternal Father, strong to save (Navy Hymn)
My son is Ben Sidwell who is an E-6 and is assistant to the Chief Engineer. Zack would be in his department. He was also given responsibility for Training and I don't know what that entails. I am unfamiliar with the sub organizational or command structure. My son knows Zack and I told him that we were corresponding via this forum.
My son went thru the nuclear power training and then spent 2 years on the teaching staff at Bolliston Spa, NY. At the end of 2 years he was given orders for the Abraham Lincoln but he didn't want to be on a carrier, so he volunteered for the submarine service. Given his height, weight, and size 15 shoe, I thought he was quite courageous to go the submarine route.
I will tell Ben that we are corresponding. They have been thru a trying experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
The crew will recieve counseling in the next few days and as I told my son, "time is the best healer of all".
Best wishses to you and your family as well as all the crew and their families.
Thanks for the updates; the ping list is a real good idea.
Courtesy Gil Shaddock and Ron Martini's Submarine BBS:
(Note: Ron Martini's bulletin board is a great place, and I've been posting there from time to time for almost 10 years-all subvets should visit that site!)
Sent: Mon Jan 10 02:17:01 2005
Subject: USS SAN FRANCISCO SITREP -2100W/9 Jan 05
Fellow Flag Officers this is my second unclas update on the SAN FRANCISCO incident
for your situational awareness:
At 10 January 1634 local (100134 EST) the USS SAN FRANCISCO returned safely to
Apra Harbor, Guam. The ship moored with her own line handlers in a normal submarine configured mooring (AFT draft is 27'-10'' (normal AFT draft is 32') and FWD Draft is above
the draft marks with the waterline at the point the towed array faring begins; 0.8 degree STBD list and 1 degree Down bubble indicating by naval architecture calculations that
1 A/B and 2A/B MBTs are most likely flooded). The severely injured Machinist Mate
(Engineroom Upper Level Watch at time of grounding) was evacuated immediately and transferred by ambulance to Naval Hospital Guam where a fully staffed medical team
was standing by. He is conscious and in stable condition. Approximately fifteen add-
itional injured personnel requiring medical care subsequently departed the ship and
were transported to the hospital after taking a moment to meet with family members.
Crewmembers from the USS CORPUS CHRISTI, HOUSTON and FRANK CABLE
assisted in linehandling and various return to port evolutions such as propulsion plant
shutdown, shorepower cables, and rig for surface. Standing by on the pier was a full complement of watchstanders from USS CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI (and SAN FRANCISCO stay-behinds) to satisfy all watchstanding requirements for reactor plant shutdown with follow-on inport forward and aft watchsections.
Following the grounding on 8 January, the ship transited on the surface at 8kts with
surface escort, USCGC GALVESTON ISLAND to Apra Harbor, Guam. Due to
deteriorated weather conditions on the evening of 9 January, the Commanding Officer
shifted bridge watchstations to control and shut bridge access hatches to maximize watertight integrity in light of reserve buoyancy concerns. The ship maintained stability throughout the surface transit with continuous operation of the Low Pressure Blower on
the Forward Main Ballast Tanks. SAN FRANCISCO has experienced no reactor plant, propulsion train or electrical system degradations as a result of the grounding. The
Commanding Officer shifted the Officer of the Deck's watch to the bridge on 10 January
in preparation for piloting into Apra Harbor.
The critically injured Machinist Mate (Auxiliaryman) passed away yesterday afternoon
as a result of his injuries. The MM2 was in Aft Main Seawater Bay at the time of the grounding and his body was thrown forward approximately 20 feet into Propulsion Lube
Oil Bay. He suffered a severe blow to his forehead and never regained consciousness.
Emergency medical personnel, including a Naval Hospital Guam surgeon, Undersea Medical Officer and Independent Duty Corpsmen, arrived on the ship via helicopter
transfer to provide immediate medical care and prepare the crewmember for medical evacuation on the morning of 9 January. Unfortunately, the sailor's condition deteriorated and he died onboard while under the care of the embarked physicians. Just moments
prior to the sailors death, I spoke with the Sailor's father in preparation for their pending
travel from Ohio to the West Pacific to see their Son. Since then I have passed on to
his Dad my condolences on their Son's death and reassured them their Son's remains would be treated with utmost respect and dignity. His father expressed great gratitude
for the extraordinary efforts made by the Navy to save his Son's life. He told me his
Son loved the Navy, having just reenlisting earlier this year and wanted to make it a career.
That when he called home he always talked about the many friendships and the wonderful
camaraderie the crew of SFO exhibited. Prior to sailing, he was really excited about the pending ship visit to Australia. The parents are considering traveling to Guam, with Navy support, at some point to meet the crew and partake in a memorial service for his Son.
For the remainder of the transit, the embarked medical trauma team administered
medical care to the other injured personnel. Their careful attention and evaluation
augments the ship's Independent Duty Corpsman's heroic efforts since the grounding.
Submarine Squadron Fifteen COMMODORE, Captain Brad Gerhke and Captain Paul Bushong, Commanding Officer of the Submarine Tender USS FRANK CABLE have mobilized their assets, staffs, crews and local Navy Community to provide comprehensive support to the SAN FRANCISCO. Professional counselors, medical personnel and Navy Chaplains are scheduled to meet with the entire crew to provide grief counseling and assistance throughout the next several days and as required over the long term.
Brad has been meeting frequently with the SFO families and they are doing remarkable well. The entire Navy community in Guam has come to the SFO's families' assistance.
I have talked to Kevin Mooney's (SFO Skipper) wife, Ariel. Her state of mind is positive
and resolute, with a courageous and upbeat view of the trying days ahead.
The ship's Main Ballast Tank damage and deformation has degraded maneuverability and mandated the use of two tugs to moor in Apra Harbor. A Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard/NAVSEA Material Assessment Team comprised of a structural engineer, MBT vent expert, air systems expert and naval architect arrived in Guam with special ship salvage and recovery equipment to stabilize the ship pierside as soon as possible. The team, led by Captain Charles Doty, commenced a seaworthiness and repair assessment upon the ship's arrival. Once additional buoyancy measures are in place and tested
satisfactory, the Low Pressure Blower will be secured to allow divers to enter the water
to conduct an inspection. While this grounding is a tragedy, with a through investigation
led by Cecil Haney, we will find out all the facts and then ensure we learn from the mistakes. But, I too believe we have much to be thankful for today, and much to be confident in. An operational warship has returned to port on her own power with all but
one of its crew after sustaining major hull damage. The survival of the ship after such an incredibly hard grounding (nearly instantaneous deacceleration from Flank Speed to 4 KTS)
is a credit to the ship design engineers and our day-to-day engineering and watchstanding practices. The continuous operation of the propulsion plant, electrical systems and navigation demonstrates the reliability of our equipment and the operational readiness
of our crews as a whole. The impressive Joint and Navy team effort which resulted in SFO
returning to port safely says volumes about the ingenuity and resourcefulness of all our
armed services. For all who participated in this effort, thank you and your people.
We are all eternally grateful to each of you.
Very Respectfully - Paul Sullivan
I've been following developments on Martini's board, too. I'm proud to be in a brotherhood with men like the brave sailors onboard San Francisco.
Good source, good post. Thanks for the heads up.
#995..This is a great informational post on the submariners thread.
Prayers for the injured and those who mourn.
Humm would appear that she is an improved 688. Hope the former Captain likes seals. He will be counting them next month.
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