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.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brit Sub Fire In Shipyard

BBC News is reporting that there was a fire onboard HMS Astute on Saturday; damage appears limited to the top of the sail. Excerpts:
BAE said the fire was limited to rubber tiles on the outside of the structure and its nuclear reactor was unaffected.
It is believed to have started while a pipe that feeds air to a diesel engine was being tested on Saturday.
BAE said in a statement: "During trials of the snort induction mast on board the first of class Astute submarine, moored at the Devonshire Dock quay at the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow, a fire broke out which was limited to the exterior of the submarine...
..."Initial investigations indicate that damage was limited to the external areas of the submarine at the top of the bridge fin."
Normally, when one hears about a fire in the shipyard, one automatically assumes it was due to hot work. Based on the initial reports, this doesn't appear to be the case here, although I'm wondering how the diesel induction piping and valves could get hot enough to catch the anechoic coating on fire. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that hot work was somehow involved (as in they were repairing something they found during the tests, like one of the mounting brackets that mounts a valve to the sail bulkhead came loose).


Blogger Free The Nucs said...

Are you kidding? The last time I was in the yards, the only thing they DIDN'T manager to ignite at one time or another was our passion for life.

No Kai Oi!

4/21/2009 6:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, WAH...! Getting laid on Waikiki is so awful! WAH!

4/21/2009 7:44 AM

Anonymous LT L said...

No, you haven't experienced the incompetence that is PHNSY. Ustafish pulled in for a nuke valve replacement that was projected to take 5 days.

We left 7 weeks later after PHNSY destroyed 3 replacement valves and PSNS was called in.


4/21/2009 8:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like 7 weeks of I & I to me.

4/21/2009 8:26 AM

Anonymous LT L said...

Not when you are in M-Div or RC-Div.


4/21/2009 8:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll see your PHNSY and raise you an EB.

4/21/2009 8:50 AM

Blogger kwicslvr said...

I enjoyed watching the shipyard worker lite his pant leg on fire multiple times while welding right outside of maneuvering. He continued to do this over a 30 minute period.

4/21/2009 10:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contractors, too. I've had fire watches bail immediately (it was lunchtime!), paint on the other side of the roof ignite, leaked hydraulic fluid ignite (but that's what the portable fire extinguisher from your wall is for!), and slag igniting pants. Just during my 2-year stint with OC.


p.s. 0744 Anon, have you actually been to HI?

4/21/2009 11:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Joel. This is most likely hotwork induced. I can't imagine a scenario where the induction would get that hot otherwise.

I can also say that I have seen the the shipyard light things on fire constantly. I even watched them set a drop cloth on fire, intended to be there to prevent such an occurrence.

You just have to watch out for those bubbas. (oh... and it's not just PHNSY, this particular case was NNSY).



4/21/2009 12:04 PM

Anonymous anon e. moose said...

Three words:

4/21/2009 2:19 PM

Anonymous CAPT Deepdiver said...

As a young JO, I was EOOW and talking to the Engineering Watch Supervisor in Maneuvering of a 637. We heard the unmistakable sound of a fire extinguisher going off. The EWS said "I'll be right back" and ran to Engine Room Lower Level. Turns out that a shop 56 guy was teaching his apprentice to remove lagging by hitting it with a welding torch until it burned off and then hitting it with a damage control (not fire watch) fire extinguisher! Only SY worker I ever physically abused!

4/21/2009 3:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the privatization of the Navy continues these poor performance trends will only increase.

4/21/2009 6:01 PM

Anonymous Ross Kline said...

Done EB (twice)
Done PHNSY (once)

I'll take EB over PHNSY - anytime.

4/21/2009 7:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story raised my eyebrows, BH, excatly for the reasons you found interesting. While shipyard fires are certainly not unusual, this one has a peculiar smell.

The British submarine program lately needs no more negatives like this. Will investigation ultimately dispel suspicion sooner, or in the RN's traditional, belated manner?

One thing is for sure; sabotage is unlikely to be confirmed publicly. - Rex

4/21/2009 8:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shipyards - blech. They all suck, but some are worse than others.

I spent many an upkeep in Groton in the early 90's w/ EB supporting w/o any major issues.

Decomm'd a 637 the mid 90's in Puget w/o any issues. The only yard period where it was actually fun to go to work (but then that was a decom).

A 3 month ERP in Bangor with mainly PSNS support that went very smooth overall in the late 90's.

PHNSY SRA completed one month late in 2005 (which is fast by No Ka Oi standards) after turning off 30% of the work scheduled in the second half of the avail.

And most recently a PHNSY 15 month DMP completed two weeks late (fastest in over 10yrs, warp speed by their track record), which had the major assistance of PSNSY, EB, & Norfolk Naval SY (which is why it went better than expected). We STILL have a long laundry list of stuff that either didn't get fixed or new DMP stuff installed that STILL doesn't work right...

I'll take EB, Norfolk Naval, or Puget Sound guys over PHNSY any day of the week and twice on Sundays!!!


4/22/2009 1:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We didn't call it Pearl Harbor's No Ka Oi "We fuck 'em up, Brah!" Shipyard for nothing!

Retired STSC in Yoko.

4/22/2009 5:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't think civilian ones are much better. SF Drydock makes no bones about change-ordering work back into profitability, and the slack attitude goes all the way to much of the work force.
The USNS Curtiss left before important work was complete (1 of 2 SSTGs still disassembled) because someone got fed up with them.

4/22/2009 3:14 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Not related but whenever yard discussions come into play, the ol' gag using magenta and yellow tape and putting them on tools and then leaving them up in a shop on a destroyer - it takes them a while to figure out what that means, but boy, once the ops boss sees it, talk about shitting kittens.

4/23/2009 10:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

my personal experience says, from best to worst:

-everybody else on the planet-
GUAM / LaMad


I think being able to post as anonymous really helps more people post ;)

4/23/2009 11:01 AM

Anonymous Jeff Lee said...

In the yards at NNSY, there were numerous instances where I'd be walking around on my tour as see the shipyard fire watch asleep (sometimes next to an EMPTY fire bottle) while hot work was going on. Typical.

4/23/2009 2:47 PM

Anonymous SJV said...

Be fair, now...the guy was being diligent in not leaving his post until his break relief arrived. Of course, it was his supervisor's job to get the relief guy there. Give the guys some credit, though. When you work for an organization that installs a piece of equipment one day and then rips it out the next, all because "the contract says so", you get a bit numb to stupidity. I think overall that's what has gone on all around our society. People who know there's a better way have just become numb to working around the BS and finding a way to fix things. Just MHO.

4/24/2009 7:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

fyi and hope your doing well after the operation

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4/24/2009 12:34 PM

Blogger Free The Nucs said...

It's the same for those late night correspondence course commercials:

"Earn your certification in as little as three weeks in TV/VCR Repair...
Cheese Making...
Child Care...
Gun Repair...

or Electrician!

I guess it's not quite as challenging as they made it out to be in NFAS.

4/25/2009 7:29 AM

Anonymous Tamsin said...

It won't work in actual fact, that is what I suppose.

9/20/2012 7:32 AM

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