Another USS Jacksonville Fire in Shipyard
(Intel source: Ron Martini's Submarine BBS)
This article in Foster's Online discusses a shipyard fire on USS Jacksonville (SSN-699) during a refueling overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. This follows another small fire they had two months ago; this more recent fire seems to have been more serious, with 8 people treated for smoke inhalation. It doesn't say for sure, but I'd bet that this will turn out to be another fire caused by welding. I predict a lot of training on fire safety and extra work for the shipyard workers and crew. Normally, if you have one safety violation, there's a little extra training, everybody's more vigilant for awhile, and everyone goes on with their lives. However, when you have a second occurrence of the same type, this means, to Sub Force higher-ups, that: 1) Your training the resulted from your first accident wasn't effective in preventing a recurrence; 2) Your internal monitoring programs were not effective enough to determine that your training wasn't effective; and 3) You now need to have Group and Squadron personnel come down (or up, in this case) to watch you constantly to make sure your training and internal monitoring procedures are effective. My theory is that the Sub Groups did that mostly to make the corrective actions painful enough that noone wants to go through them again; if desire to avoid personal injury isn't enough, then desire to avoid more Group and Squadron monitor watches may be a more effective deterrent to continued unsafe behavior.
Note: The link I chose for USS Jacksonville above is the one general link I found that included a description of Jacksonville's collision with MV Saudi Makkah off Virginia in May 1996. I'm surprised as I look around the 'Net that I don't find more about that collision. About the best summary comes from this GlobalSecurity.org page that generically lists accidents at sea; it says:
17 May 96: Jacksonville (SSN-699): Collision. The attack submarine USS Jacksonville crashes into the Saudi Makkah cargo ship in thick fog in the Chesapeake Bay. Both ships suffered significant damage, but no one was injured. The Jacksonville’s captain was relieved of command two weeks later.
The CO on Jacksonville had earlier been my XO on USS Topeka (SSN 754). I love him like a brother, but that was one case where the CO did, unfortunately, deserve to be relieved; not for his actions, but for the actions of his watchstanders.
Staying at PD...