Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-09-2007, 05:35 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?


It seems likely the skipper of the USS Newport News might be leaving his job soon, if the past is any guide. I'll defer to Nords's insight, but in the past the USN has taken a dim view of these incidents virtually without regard to which vessel was "at fault." Very glad no one was hurt, and the fact that it happens so rarely speaks well for all those plying the waters in the silent service.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=6757945
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-09-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 699
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?

[CHP deleted.]
__________________

__________________
bpp is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-10-2007, 01:34 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?

I bet the change of command has already taken place.

The sub pulls into nearest friendly port and takes over two lines. The brow is lowered. One man gets permission to come aboard and walks across. A minute later another man salutes the bridge and departs. The brow is raised. The lines are cast off. Elapsed time five minutes, about four minutes longer than it took for the former CO to end his career.

Ya know, I was going to deliver a passionate sea story discourse about how those tankers are so deep of draft that their screws don't cavitate, their interrupted bow projections don't splash, and they're as stealthy as sub-hunting frigates. But REAR-ENDING the guy? No excuse. I don't care what sneaky or stupid moves that tanker pulled, there's just no way that a tanker can outmaneuver a submarine. There'll be a few career-ending letters of reprimand scattered among the XO, the OOD, and the tracking party too.

That'll be peanuts compared to the tongue-lashing verbal reprimands personal interviews the CO will get with the SUBLANT Logistics guys who have to cough up the money for the dome & bodywork. Or the feedback from the crew who'll have their liberty ports cancelled so that they can spend their quality shore time in drydock slathering on the bondo & buffing up the fiberglas.

I thought you were going to bring up the USS MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL. Absolutely no excuse there, either, and hopefully a court-martial to follow.

There've been more peacetime submarine deaths in the last six years than in the entire two decades before that. We've become our own most lethal enemies and this is gonna have to stop.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-10-2007, 07:50 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 166
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

I thought you were going to bring up the USS MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL. Absolutely no excuse there, either, and hopefully a court-martial to follow.
Nords, why would 4 sailors be on the hull when leaving port in such weather? Wouldn't any piloting be done from the conning tower?
__________________
nil illegitimus carborundum
F M All is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-10-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,137
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?

..
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-12-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by F M All
Nords, why would 4 sailors be on the hull when leaving port in such weather? Wouldn't any piloting be done from the conning tower?
Gumby's full-story caveat notwithstanding, I tend to take an unsympathetic view of the people who are responsible for not killing anyone in what should be a routine evolution. I was one of those topside guys on midshipmen cruises and on sea duty. During my SUBPAC tour I read the full multi-decade mishap file and helped maintain the collision/grounding brief that was based on decades of misfortunate experience. I heard all the Cold Warrior's sea stories that we can't talk about. I knew Scott Waddle, I was on the periphery of the investigation into the USS GREENEVILLE's killing of nine Japanese fishermen, and I know a lot of shipmates from that crew-- so I'm feeling eligible to comment on this situation.

Bad weather is no excuse. This degree of stupidity could be called criminal.

This casualty may be even worse than usual because one of the deceased was a senior chief-- either the boat's most senior enlisted supervisor or in the top five. He probably jumped in and died trying to save the others.

All the piloting & navigation is done from the bridge, backed up by the control room's navigation team. (The bridge uses eyeballs and maybe a pilot, the control room uses the persicopes and the radar.) The topside guys handle lines/tugboats and after the tug is cast off they "rig topside for dive". That means they have to get all the topside equipment belowdecks, put away a few pieces of hardware like the retractable cleats, and manipulate a few valves or levers that tend to be cranky. (For example, LA-class submarines use recessed line-handling capstans that are raised/lowered by hydraulics. The hatch behind the sail is also hydraulically pumped open/shut.) The goal is a smooth outer hull (no hydrodynamic friction) with no loose metal. Then they have to shut the hatch. If these things aren't done correctly you can hear the swooshes & rattles right away on your sonar system. Then you have to swallow your embarrassment, find a quiet part of the surface (probably back inport) and do it until you get it right. That tends to add an element of urgent supervisory coercion pressure to the situation. It's no fun, even in Pearl Harbor, and in the Atlantic winter it can be downright deadly.

In that part of the world at this time of year they should be topside in full exposure suits with boots, life jackets, and "deck crawlers"-- pieces of chain that fit into topside tracks and attach to a body harness with a six-foot shock cord. One of the crewmembers topside is a rescue swimmer-- a submariner trained by Navy divers in SCUBA & rescue techniques and one of the boat's hardbodied stud swimmers. He'd be wearing a 3/8" custom-fitted neoprene wetsuit (or even a drysuit) and all his rescue gear, ready to go in. Of course even Kevin Costner can't be much help when the surface water temp is in the low 40s and someone might bang their head on the hull as they fall.

If the topside gear wasn't working well, a supervisor should've gotten it fixed or had a plan to work around it. That's hindsight and I can all too easily understand how a balky valve got put on the "later" list. However there shoulda been a workaround for the problem and a recovery plan.

People hate wearing protective gear and the harness/shock cords really limit mobility. But that short shock cord is designed to keep people from falling all the way into the water-- perhaps waist deep, depending how close the hull was to the surface. But people routinely substitute a length of longer line or a second shock cord, and I nearly lost a guy who did that. Supervisors should be aware of that and check their people when they're topside. I did it all the time. It's a PITA and so are the supervisors but it can prevent worse problems, especially if someone's knocked unconscious.

The port guides and the weather forecasts tell mariners what the conditions could be like. The pilot and the port staff know what the day will bring. If the weather sucks so badly that topside is hazardous then you either come up with a plan to do most of it pierside, or you have the topside rigging done by the Weapons Officer and his chief (with the rescue swimmer), or you delay the underway. This wasn't an emergency port sortie and even if it was an urgent emergent mission it could've been planned and deliberately carried out.

It's not rocket science, and it's not such a wartime crisis that the boat merited risking the lives of the topside crew. It's just a failure to foresee and to plan for the worst while not giving enough slack time to recover. It was all totally avoidable, especially if you've had a near-miss experience to help focus your mind on the priorities. Now the accident is putting a crew and their families through hell, and pretty soon the effects will ripple out to the entire submarine force.

Politics & personalities kept Scott Waddle from being court-martialed for killing nine Japanese mariners, including teenage students. If there's the same degree of negligence in MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL's situation, I hope a court-martial will send the right message to other supervisors.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-12-2007, 01:19 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 166
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?

Thanks, Plymouth Sound is a huge sheltered bay - that's why the Royal Navy have been using it for centuries. It is difficult to understand why stowing cables and closing a few hatches would leave the crew exposed long enough to reach open water. To me it seems someone screwed up badly.
__________________
nil illegitimus carborundum
F M All is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?
Old 01-14-2007, 12:31 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Another Submariner to join ER ranks soon?

"After two accidents, Navy orders all its subs to stand down"
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can't Join the ER Club Yet! Jane_Doe FIRE and Money 8 05-06-2007 03:31 PM
What group can you join to get health insurance GTM Health and Early Retirement 13 03-14-2007 12:34 AM
What's the officical age to join the AARP? Mach1 Other topics 11 10-31-2006 10:43 PM
Bob Barker joins the ER ranks Nords FIRE and Money 2 02-03-2006 09:27 AM
Independent Barnstormer joins the Ranks Jon Seagull Hi, I am... 3 04-03-2003 11:59 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:07 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.