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Major submarine accidents remain isolated but costly
Stars & Stripes ^ | March 30, 2014 | Jennifer McDermott

Posted on 03/31/2014 3:40:25 AM PDT by Timber Rattler

When the periscope of the USS Montpelier rose from the water during training off the coast of Florida on Oct. 13, 2012, the submarine crew saw a Navy cruiser approaching a mere 100 to 200 yards away.

The cruiser USS San Jacinto tried to reverse, but it was too late.

The Montpelier-San Jacinto collision was one of 906 submarine accidents from late 2004 through 2013, according to data obtained from the Naval Safety Center by The Day through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The submarine's commanding officer was relieved of duty, and the costly mistake also led to changes in the way the submarine force trains, plans for, and executes complex maneuvers.

(snip)

Both the senator and the congressman, however, surmised that the submarine force's decision, around the same time as the increase in incidents, to extend some deployments beyond six months could be a factor in the 2011 spike. That decision was made to compensate for fewer submarines in the fleet.

If submariners are at sea longer, without time to refresh, Courtney said, "it would just seem, intuitively, that would increase the potential, if for no other reason than fatigue, the potential for problems." But, Courtney said, he did not have a way to quantify that.

(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: stress; submarine; usnavy
Fatigue in the submarine fleet now?
1 posted on 03/31/2014 3:40:26 AM PDT by Timber Rattler
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To: Timber Rattler

Yea, this is a Connecticut focused article and the Senator and a congressman from there are at it.

The Silent Service is an especially unique bunch and they look for a certain type of individual to recruit for this specific reason. Just because their cruises are a bit longer gives me no indication that fatigue would be the primary cause. I would tend to think it has more to do with the environment they are asked to operate in as their missions are now replete with all sorts of social experiments and not focused on the prime mission directive.


2 posted on 03/31/2014 4:03:23 AM PDT by mazda77
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To: Timber Rattler

“The submarine’s commanding officer was relieved of duty, and the costly mistake also led to changes in the way the submarine force trains, plans for, and executes complex maneuvers.”

It bothers me that they so frequently punish the Captain and often the Captain had nothing to do with it. I remember writing reports and a standard element that was always required was, “The technicians were retrained to ensure this would not happen again.” Firing the Captain is reminiscent of (oh, and we fired the Captain so this will never happen again.)

I can’t remember the name of the WWII admiral, maybe Nimitz. He badly damaged a ship in his pre-war career and it was his fault. Had he been sacked for it he’d not have been available for the war.

There is so much invested in an officer we should really think hard before relieving them from command even if they did make a mistake. It’s reminiscent of those ludicrous zero tolerance debacles carried out by schools where they expel a kid for nibbling a pop tart into a gun.


3 posted on 03/31/2014 4:15:55 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Timber Rattler

It’s a stupid mistake. A full 360 sonar sweep is always done before coming to periscope depth. Someone needs more training.


4 posted on 03/31/2014 4:22:41 AM PDT by MNnice
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To: Gen.Blather
Nimitz ran a destroyer aground. He was then an ensign. He was court-martialed, and received a letter of reprimand.

OTOH, the big-kahuna of grounding incidents was when, in 1950, the battleship Missouri ran into a sandbar, and was stuck for TWO WEEKS

5 posted on 03/31/2014 4:24:10 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: ken5050

“Nimitz ran a destroyer aground. He was then an ensign.”

People who never make mistakes never take chances. And, they never learn from their mistake. When McNamara was president Ford a subordinate made a $150k mistake. A reporter asked if he was going to fire the man and McNamara replied, “What, and give somebody else the benefit of a $150k education?”


6 posted on 03/31/2014 4:29:57 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: ken5050

—OTOH, the big-kahuna of grounding incidents was when, in 1950, the battleship Missouri ran into a sandbar, and was stuck for TWO WEEKS—

For the ultra big kahuna of grounding, check out Honda Point.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Point_Disaster


7 posted on 03/31/2014 4:50:23 AM PDT by aomagrat (Gun owners who vote for democrats are too stupid to own guns.)
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To: MNnice
That’s what I used to think. In the late 70s we were off the coast of New England about two mile off shore heading back to Fort Eustis, VA. It was an Army 1466 class LCU ─ very noisy. A sub made an emergency surface about 100 yards off our port bow. It had to be a drill because it wasn’t preceded by a red flare. After it surfaced it immediately dove. I kept an extra sharp eye out after that.
8 posted on 03/31/2014 4:50:36 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: Timber Rattler

Take it to periscope depth!

But sir I’m picking up noise.

Don’t but sir me!

Aye Aye skipper.


9 posted on 03/31/2014 5:04:26 AM PDT by WinMod70
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To: MNnice

I had the same thought about the training not only on the Boomers but our whole Military, nobody cares anymore since Obama.


10 posted on 03/31/2014 5:06:59 AM PDT by Rappini (Veritas vos Liberabit)
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To: aomagrat

Thanks for the link. I remember reading about that one. I’d never before read that it was attributed to the after-effects of the big Japanese quake. Learn something new every day. I, of course, was referring to the sized of the ship, not the number..(G)


11 posted on 03/31/2014 5:21:17 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: Timber Rattler

When we were at Pearl Harbor sub base, one of the subs returned home and was immediately covered in tarp and had Marines (I think it was Marines) standing 24 hour guard over it. Turns out we got too close to a Russian ship and damaged our sub. I think it was the Queenfish. That was kept real quiet.


12 posted on 03/31/2014 5:42:11 AM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: Gen.Blather

I knew people in my career that were so afraid of making the wrong decision that they were incapable of making any decision. I had an old Master Sergeant who once told me “if you ain’t making mistakes you ain’t leading.”
What he meant was you gotta do something, some of your decisions will turn out wrong but if you got any smarts you will learn and most of your decisions will be correct.


13 posted on 03/31/2014 5:55:00 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: Linda Frances

Wasn’t that the Operation Petticoat sub?


14 posted on 03/31/2014 5:59:55 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Linda Frances

It was the Queenfish. I was on the Haddock SSN621 at the time. We relieved the Queenfish which was rammed by the Russians off the port of Vladivostok or Petropavlovsk.


15 posted on 03/31/2014 6:02:19 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: ken5050

Keep in mind that the only thing that saved Nimitz was that, with the black mark of the grounding very much a part of his permanent personnel record, he had the opportunity and initiative to jump full bore into the emerging field of marine diesel use.

IOW his career was “saved” by a one in a million fluke of timing where he was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of a once in a generation opportunity. Without that, his career would have gone nowhere.


16 posted on 03/31/2014 6:06:47 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Gen.Blather
I remember writing reports and a standard element that was always required was, “The technicians were retrained to ensure this would not happen again.”

I remember doing something slightly dangerous back in my Navy days. My chief asked me what was going to happen if things went wrong. I told him that someone would come up with some policy or program to prevent it from happening again. He wasn't amused, but also had no response to what I said.

17 posted on 03/31/2014 6:11:08 AM PDT by EricT. (ARBEIT MACHT FREI- now get back to work you taxpaying peasant!)
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To: Timber Rattler

It could be fatigue, considering that most shifts are 6 on 6 off. During the 6 off, you do the housework and study study study. Getting your “dolphins” is a big deal and your expected to have them within a year. Weeding out otherwise is/was preferable as you were a safety concern and therefore unreliable.
Fact is, most of the incidents on subs and surface ships are preventable and the fact, too, is if your surface ship is in the Black Sea and you are docking or piloting, if you are the Commanding Officer and you aren’t on the bridge taking control, then you are derelict in your duties. Same for surfacing or periscope depth with a sub. Subs do not surface or come to periscope depth too often and when they do, you better be there directing operations.
That is cut and dry. Is it clear enough?


18 posted on 03/31/2014 6:11:41 AM PDT by Undecided 2012
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To: ken5050

Don’t forget the grounding of the Enterprise in San Francisco Bay in the 1980s.

Missouri’s Thimball Shoals grounding was, at least, spectacular. 58,000 ton battleship hits a sandbar at around 30 knots. With predictable results.

Apparantly the big difficulty in pulling Mo off (took most of the East Coast’s salvage assets) was that the force of the impact compacted the sand the ship plowed into into ... concrete.


19 posted on 03/31/2014 6:13:30 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: tom paine 2
So you were in Hawaii when we were. My husband was on the TWR Ferret. (Torpedo weapons retriever). The guys wore cut off dungarees and no shirt. They fished when they could. In fact my husband got his nose broken by a mahi mahi. He tried to grab it to bring it in and it veered back and hit him in the face. We had a great time there. Wife's could go once a year with spouses to the other islands. The Molokai channel was really rough. Took a while to get better.

Navy was a dangerous time for my husband. When when we at Fallon NAS he was stung by a scorpion while spotting bombs. He got his foot broken when trying to sumo wrestle a guy in Hawaii. The guy was about 200 lbs larger than my husband and accidentally stood on his foot and picked him up. I could go on. There was nothing my husband wouldn't try.

20 posted on 03/31/2014 6:33:07 AM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Everything was hush hush. Don’t know what they called it.


21 posted on 03/31/2014 6:33:46 AM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: tom paine 2

I thought it happened off the Hawaii coast. My husband always said there were Russian schooners and subs all around the islands. I’ll have to ask my husband if he knew that.


22 posted on 03/31/2014 6:36:06 AM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: Linda Frances

Yeah it was. Portions of the movie Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis were filmed with the Queenfish.


23 posted on 03/31/2014 6:46:12 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Resolute Conservative

This happened in the 70s so probably not operation petticoat.


24 posted on 03/31/2014 6:52:47 AM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

I am pretty sure the Queenfish ended up in Long Beach at the Naval Shipyard. You could still see some pink paint showing under the chipped and worn mixed paints used to cover it up. It appeared that she was being used to offload waste fuel/oil into and was just docked out of the way by the warehouses by the early 80’s when I saw her.


25 posted on 03/31/2014 8:52:09 AM PDT by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: ops33

Unfortunately, the AF turned into risk-adverse office weenies and anyone making a mistake is fired.


26 posted on 03/31/2014 8:59:27 AM PDT by CodeToad (Arm Up! They Are!)
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To: ExpatGator

The wiki says she was sunk as a target in 1963. The second Queenfish (Sturgeon class) was scrapped in the 90’s in Bremerton.

The wiki says that the pink scenes were the USS Balao. The USS Archerfish for the scenes in standard gray and black, and the Queenfish was only in the opening and closing scenes.


27 posted on 03/31/2014 9:21:45 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: aomagrat

“For the ultra big kahuna of grounding, check out Honda Point.”

Seven destroyers on the rocks during peacetime. The all time clusterfark of US naval navigation.


28 posted on 03/31/2014 10:13:58 AM PDT by Rebelbase (Tagline: optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: tanknetter

“Don’t forget the grounding of the Enterprise in San Francisco Bay in the 1980s.”

I remember that. I was fresh out of boot camp/A school, standing on the pier waiting for the Enterprise (my first ship) when she got stuck in plain sight of the pier. I spent 3.5 years on her and learned everything I needed to know about painting and floor care.


29 posted on 03/31/2014 11:33:38 AM PDT by aomagrat (Gun owners who vote for democrats are too stupid to own guns.)
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To: aomagrat

But more importantly, do people appreciate your abilities as a human night-light?


30 posted on 03/31/2014 12:52:31 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Resolute Conservative

Archerfish has the credit for the largest warship kill by a submarine in history: the Japanese carrier Shinano, converted from the third Yamato hull.


31 posted on 03/31/2014 12:56:03 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: tanknetter

Well, shortly after transferring off all of my warts went away.


32 posted on 03/31/2014 1:22:40 PM PDT by aomagrat (Gun owners who vote for democrats are too stupid to own guns.)
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To: CodeToad

Isn’t that the dang truth!


33 posted on 03/31/2014 3:34:43 PM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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