Skip to comments.Stranded Navy minesweeper taking on water (Link only)
Posted on 01/20/2013 9:47:53 PM PST by JerseyanExile
This is a Navy Times article, and as of such, cannot be posted, merely linked to.
Chinese made charts?
No injuries have been reported.
The entire crew of 79 sailors was taken off the ship Jan. 17.
No one has been back on board the Guardian.
Heck, somebody in a *Crow’s nest* with polaroid sunglasses could have prevented this, one would think.
Wooden, fiberglass-clad hull — pretty susceptible to battering damage...
Not at 0230 hours in darkness. Sounds like some charts are ay off. The most reliable charts are ones charted by first hand knowledge and experience and proven accurate over the years. Meaning paper Navigation charts. If the electronic navigation charts were off the C.O.'s hide is likely OK. If not? His career is over.
You couldn't use built in eductors off firemain. That water is too shallow. You go using onboard pumps and you get a lt of sea weed and trash sucked up in the strainers real fast. They'd clog the pumps fast creating a bigger headache. Portables could do the trick. It's going to have to be raised up & floated off the reef likely with flotation devices secured to the ship. Pulling it will tear the hull out.
USS SAN FRANCISCO on 1/8/2005 One fatality 60 injuries.
The article says that the ship’s electronic charts misplaced the reef’s location by 9 miles.
These were very expensive to build so they are going to try to save this one.
This was the Mother of All Warship Groundings.
The battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) was one of three of the last warships to be built in the battleship era. She was decidedly one of the most powerful nine 16-inch guns, 12 secondary, 5-inchers, and too many 40- and 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns to count. She was big nigh on 900-feet long fast, cruising at around 33 knots, and had an exceptionally long range of 15,000 nautical miles. The German Bismarck, the HMS Vanguard of Great Britain and the Japanese Yamato were big, powerful ships in their own right, but did not compare to the Missouri in that most subjective of categories. She was the most beautiful of them all, said to be President Harry Trumans favorite ship.
The Mighty Mo never once fought a major ship-to-ship battle, but she saw plenty of ship to shore action, bombarding coastlines in WWII, Korea and the first Iraq War.
In early January 1950, she was leaving Norfolk with her usual complement of crew, en route to the Atlantic. The channel from the Naval base in Hampton Roads out past Thimble Shoals and on towards the mouth of the Chesapeake is well buoyed, and was indeed well-known to the crew. They had a planned run through a new acoustic range off Thimble Shoals on the way, and she steamed ahead around a consistent speed of 15 knots approaching the range.
Details of the buoyage for the acoustic range remain murky, but one way or another, the ship missed it, running aground on Thimble Shoals with so much momentum that she carved a 2,500-foot long channel in the mud and ended up resting hard on the bottom, a full seven-feet above her waterline.
The Department of the Navy took a close look at the situation and was ready to contract a private salvage firm to free the ship. However, a few of the powers that be, including Admiral Smith, at the time Commander, Cruisers, Atlantic, and issuer of the Missouris orders said that if they Navy got her there, they could get her off. The Pentagon relented, but made clear that the Admirals career was riding on the operation. He moved aboard the ship during the process, part of which included responding to the nearly 10,000 letters from people with their own ideas of how to get her free.
Everything moveable was offloaded onto barges, nearly all the fuel pumped out. Divers set to work with high-pressure hoses to dig tunnels under the ship in the mud, quite a task as her maximum beam exceeded 108-feet (subsequently she traversed the Panama Canal with only a foot to spare either side), and barge camels were brought alongside.
After threading chain through the tunnels dug beneath the ship and securing it to flooded barge camels either side, they began to set her free. With an exceptionally high tide in early February, the barge camels were pumped out and floated. The chain took up tight under the hull, every big tug on the Chesapeake was pulling hard, and the Missouris engines were in full reverse and she slowly floated free.
A board of inquiry was convened to investigate the grounding and discuss the matter of a court marshal, and if one were needed, whom it would fall on. Needless to say, the navigating officer and the officer on the con were first in line.
They ultimately relieved Captain Brown of his command and court marshaled four others following the incident. Captain Browns record was docked so many points that many felt it would be the end of his career. Admiral Smith, on the other hand, survived the salvage effort and went on to retire a well-respected officer.
Today, the Mighty Mo is a museum in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and is open to the public for tours. See ussmissouri.com for more information.
Donald Street is an internationally renowned sailor and writer, and was once a naval officer himself, serving on submarines. He has spent a lifetime at sea and has been published in nearly every major nautical magazine in the world. street-iolaire.com.
The mother of all groundings was the “Honda Point” grounding, 1923. 9 destroyers, in a 14 destroyer squadron, grounded in California. My dad was a boatswains mate on one of the ships
I thought the protocol was to use both paper and electronic, but maybe not on smaller ships.
Most paper charts should be viewable online these days.
I wonder if the captain and navigator of this ship were in any way promoted through affirmative-action or such?
The officer that salvaged the Mighty Mo, was Rear Admiral Homer Wallins. He was the Commander of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at the time. As a Captain, Wallins was the officer responsible for the salvage of all of the sunken or damaged warships in Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack.
I guess we were anchored between a half and three quarters miles off the coast. One of the Alpine Express storms hit and we had to cut the Liberty Boats loose and send the crews to the beach behind the sea wall. Buddies told me later it was one scary trip. I was a Boat Snipe but not on duty at the time.
The Old Man came over the 1MC and yelled get the damn ship underway and get it underway now were dragging anchor. We were headed into the beach. That's one reason carriers anchor out and steamed in the MED. The screws started turning and the anchor lifting about the same time. It was a close call.
It wasn't really anyone fault just one of those things. The Captain was highly decorated and spotless record. he was also one of the longest held in the Hanoi Hilton. He had been shot down and collar bones broke.
His ship and career were saved. I'd say the Admiral onboard was nervous as well LOL.
The only grounding I was involved in was a 50 foot Utility Boat in Venice. You heard the old saying the two most dangerous things in the Navy was a Nuke with a crescent wrench and a Ensign with an idea? We were anchored for Liberty and had been running all day. We knew our route and had our landmarks down real well for night runs.
At Dusk Navy Regs require an officer be on the boats. A Squadron Officer came onboard with his map and began plotting the course to fleet landing. We told him we pretty well knew our markers. He showed us the map again. Orders is orders. LOL. We took off and did it his way. About 20 minutes later the engine speed increased screw on the boat was out of the water as the boat came to a stop. We were in very shallow water. The boat drug bottom due to pitch being underway.
I had plenty of shallow water experience getting a boat out of such places from my youth when I'd be camping on the lakes in East Tennessee. Coxun was a buddy and he wasn't happy and figured we were stuck there. I said back it up very slow to keep the bow from coming up keep it level. I'll sound the depth with the bow hook but we got to go out the same way we cam in. We were out pretty quick and got reoriented to the markers we knew were right. Officer was silent the rest of the night LOL.
I'm not sure. But I do now this much about ships electronics. It would be very wise to have paper back ups on actual paper at least for assigned area anyway. Paper doesn't crash, doesn't get a virus, and is not dependent upon maintaining cool compartment tempatures. Keeping the electronics spaces cool was my actual job on ship including navigation equipment.