Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

This Sub Sailor Must Really Hate Skimmers

Yesterday, I blogged about USS Hampton (SSN 767) pulling into PEV for Fleet Week USA on Monday. Today (via The Sub Report) we learn that one of the Hampton submariners took our well-known antipathy for surface ships a bit too far:

"A sailor, who serves as a Fire Control Technician, is accused of setting fire to a 44-foot yacht docked on the New River.
"Fort Lauderdale police arrested U.S. Navy fire control technician Robert Lee Coloretti at about 12:20 a.m. Thursday morning.
"Authorities said Coloretti, 23, snuck on to the Ida II and began breaking things in the cabin, waking up the passengers sleeping below deck. Police said while one of the passengers dialed 911, Coloretti was setting the yacht on fire.
"Police said they arrested Coloretti as he was stepping off the yacht. Police said he was wearing his uniform."

He obviously forgot that we're supposed to take out surface ships with torpedoes, and not our bare hands. The article doesn't say if alcohol was involved, but I think we all know the answer to that question...

(More seriously, I'm sorry that this young man's career will take a big hit from this, and it's too bad the rest of the crew will probably have more liberty restrictions, but let's face it... who hasn't had someone from their crew do something worse on liberty? The difference now is that the Internet lets us all read about it, rather than it only showing up in the local paper.)

Update 2208 04 May: The story even made Fark.

Update 2035 06 May: I don't think the Sailor's alibi is going to work:

"I was only trying to put out the fire," Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Lee Coloretti explained to police, according to his arrest report.
"Police picked up Coloretti, 23, on the Ida II, a 74-foot Forbes Cooper express cruiser, just after 12:30 a.m. on the New River, according to the report. Inside the boat, authorities said they found three fires, bleach poured over parts of the cabin and a punctured lifeboat."

A Navy spokesman commenting on the case shows he apparently doesn't know much about how advancement in the submarine force works:

"McGuinn said Coloretti joined the Navy in 2001 and reported to the submarine in 2003.
"Based on Coloretti's rapid rise in rank, McGuinn said his conduct in the Navy must have been good.
"You don't get to be a second-class petty officer in that time without doing well," McGuinn said."

Most FTs show up on the boat as an FT3 right out of "A" school (as long as they've signed up for a six year initial hitch), and you only have to be an E-4 for a year before you get to go up for E-5; I'm pretty sure you can still get that automatically by re-enlisting under the STAR program. Therefore, it's not surprising that a submarine FT would be an E-5 with 5 years in. About all it says is that you haven't been busted...


Blogger Vigilis said...

How can the submarine Navy possibly get a better handle on suicide prevention when characters like this are admitted to the silent service? Is submarine esprit de coeur declining, or is it becoming casual?

5/05/2006 1:21 AM

Anonymous Jack said...

Every local story becomes national now. Thus, though we all know stories that make this look calm by comparison, the world is smaller and commands have to address that fact.

5/05/2006 4:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At tragic incident indeed. I pray that no one was injured. This could also be an opportunity for the crew to reach out to these people and help with the clean up of the Yacht. To perhaps bring them down for a tour of the sub. May be even adopt the Yacht as part of the sub crew (honorary). This is something a good COB could grab and run with. This could show that this is not the typical attitude of sailor (sub or surface).

5/05/2006 6:29 AM

Blogger PigBoatSailor said...


I wouldn't link this too closely to the possible suicide problem Bubs has been posting about. A lousy drunk does not equal a depressed suicide. And both are really hard to identify before things become an issue.

We had plenty of guys on board who got stupid when drunk, and they ranged from Seaman to LCDR. Ours never made the news though, and there was a major reason why, and leads to my big question about this guy:
Where were his shipmates?
We always kept an eye on our own, especially if we knew they didn't handle their drinks well. Who let this guy go it alone?

5/05/2006 6:35 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

PBS, your point is both well-taken and positive. Part of this story must have been omitted, for certain.

5/05/2006 10:54 AM

Blogger bothenook said...

i don't see this as having any relation to the suicide issue. this is just another stupid drunk submariner. i won't say we have all done stupid things, and i certainly won't say we've done them in this order of magnitude. but i will say i have seastories that would take weeks to tell about stupid alcohol fueled things just like this.
such as jumping the ship's truck off of a portable loading ramp on the way back from a hydraulic lunch at the club. and sailing directly over the head of the SubPacWestRep's head while he was on a bike. or that the Rep used to be the skipper of the boat of said sailer's (sailing over his head, get it?)sorry. no names, but i do remember it took weeks for the crick generated by a nose in landing in my back to go away.
i'm just sayin.....

5/05/2006 12:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many people in this world see a fire and run the other way? I would dare say a mojority of the population. I have seen it many times, when a submariner sees a fire, he runs to it, it is the way we are trained. When we get drunk, we rely on our instinct, and the insinct of a submariner is to fight the fire.

5/09/2006 6:32 PM

Anonymous Shagnasty said...

I have know coloretti for over 4 years and i can tell you that he is not a drinker, so obviously you dont know the answer to that... as for the rest, why are people so quick to assume that he set the fire and wasnt trying to extinguish it. your blog is stupid and you are an idiot. maybe you should check all the facts before you make yourself look stupid on the internet.

5/10/2006 9:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above comment is true. Take a good look at the facts surrounding this story on Blog about the Coloretti case.
The police didn't give the press a police report, instead they handed them a probable cause affidavit, knowing full well that the media wouldn't know the difference.
Friends of Colletti claim he told police that he saw someone jump overboard and that he was in fact trying to put out the fire.
It just doesn't make sense, why would anyone want to ruin their military career and life over wreckless vandalism? Check the facts out at the blog mentioned above and please leave a comment if you are his friend or know Coloretti because from what I understand, the Navy is trying to stonewall this investigation and hide some important evidence.
This scenario makes military personell seem like wreckless drunkards. I support our troops and believe our soldiers and sailors are smarter than that, especially if they are in charge of identifying friend or foe on a nuclear sub.
Can anyone verify the story that Coloretti once discharged a weapon on board a submarine? If so go to and post it on the blog.

5/13/2006 10:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interresting. For the record I did serve on Hampton with Coloretti and he never struck me as a drinker. Having said that, it stands to reason that any submariner worth his salt would have sounded some alarm (i.e. shouting 'fire fire fire') as he ran aboard to put it out, and maybe would have called 911 himself before responding to the fire. What the PD is going to have trouble establishing here is motive and intent. Does Coloretti have a record back in his home state of California? I can't say for a guy who got on westbound I-64 at the base while attempting to reach Virginia Beach and didn't realize he was going the wrong way until he hit Richmond city limits signs- sure, he probably didn't think this through either... The defense might have a case if and only if they can viably show that someone else was at the scene and Coloretti's intentions were innocent enough; just lacking ORM or any sort of thought process...
then again, who has a solid thought process and is thinking ORM at 1230 on the way back to the boat when he hears someone wrecking a boat and setting it on fire.....

5/16/2006 1:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coloretti is a good guy, I've been on the Hampton for 4 years and I was in PEV for the Ida II thing. He wasn't drinking, thats in the Police Report, and from what he says, he was just trying to put it out... Truth is he is probably one of the most accident prone people I have ever met, but he's not crazy.

5/16/2006 3:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont understand you people. i was taught the we support our own. i dont feel that this young man is getting the support from his navy family that he deserves. why is it that he is not assumed "innocent until proven guilty"? what makes you thing coloretti is a "lousy drunk", do you even know him? do you even know the situation? just because it was fleet week does not mean he was there to get drunk & wreck havoc. why is it when ever a sailor or soldier is involved in anything people automatically assume the worst. people have been wrongly accused on more than one occasion in this great nation of ours. our justice system is far from infallable. and why is it that most of you people automatically believe the media. remember he is the accused, these crimes are alleged. he has not been proven guilty in a court of law.

6/21/2006 10:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the guy asleep inside the boat when this genious decided to torch it. If my dog hadn't kept barking i would have been trapped inside my bedroom while this idiot set the fires. And he is on a Nuclear Sub. Awesome!

8/03/2006 9:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Bobby before he entered the Navy and he has no record in California before he came to the Navy. I haven't seen him in the last 5 years, and I know people can change a lot in that time, but the Bobby I knew wouldn't set fire to something no matter how drunk he was. True he was accident prone, but back in high school he was the calmest, nicest guy you would have ever met. Besides, his sister-in-law was getting married shortly after the fires... Robert is very family oriented and already had the time off the sub to attend the wedding. I can't imagine him wanting to jeopardize his home-coming in anyway.

8/17/2006 5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out mention of Coloretti case on Still seems a bit fishy.

12/29/2006 2:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very close with him in high school. It was a surprise to hear he did it, but not unbelievable. I feel very sorry for his family, especially his wife and mother of their child.

10/23/2007 12:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what happened to this guy? was he sentenced?

3/22/2008 10:17 PM

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Anonymous said...

So, I do not really suppose this is likely to work.

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