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.)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Aussie Boat Sinks Target, Has "Minor Flood"

Looks like HMAS Farncomb (SSG 74) had a little more excitement during a RIMPAC 2012 SINKEX than they were expecting:
Sailors aboard a Collins-class submarine forced to return to base for repairs during a multinational exercise near Hawaii last week would have been profoundly disappointed, a former senior submariner says.
It is the second time in just over a year a Collins-class submarine has had to withdraw from a major international exercise because of mechanical issues.
The former commander of the Australian Navy Submarine Group, Steve Davies, said the officers and crew of HMAS Farncomb would have been riding high after successfully sinking a decommissioned United States warship with a Mk 48 torpedo during RIMPAC 2012.
HMAS Farncomb experienced ''a minor flood'' shortly after the firing exercise while snorkelling to recharge its batteries.
One of the hoses in the submarine's weight compensation system split, spraying water into a machinery space.
Emergency measures were invoked with the ship withdrawing from the exercise and returning to Pearl Harbour for repairs.
What's your best "minor flood" or SINKEX story?

Even though they were forced back into port, they did get credit for a successful SINKEX:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HMCS Victoria did her SINKEX without the flooding!

7/29/2012 10:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's to the Aussies, great friends and true a world of craziness, what more could you ask for.

7/29/2012 11:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newly qualified Eoow on my second or third watch. While in ASW bay I got hit by some water from middle level. I figured it was just the watchstander having some fun until I realized it wasn't stopping. I jumped up the cond't bay ladder right behind the ELT and say my ERML watch trying to hold back a small jet of sea water shooting about 4 ft with his hands, coming from a broken sight glass. So I call away a controlled sea water leak to maneuvering, quickly followed by a 'I'll be in maneuvering to relieve you in about 2 seconds because stuff looks safe and I don't know how to fix this.'

After some investigation, it turned out the float in the gauge had gotten stuck, and the watchstander had (IAW the tech manual) used a hammer to mechanically free it. Unfortunately, he was a little overzealous and shattered the glass. The jet of water was still an impressive sight (it was open to ambient sea pressure)

7/30/2012 3:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the senior JO standing OOD during a drill set during TRE workups. The CO came through Control to let me know what the drills would be, and then left to take a quick shower while the drill team was setting up real and red herring props for the drill set. Neither of the drills was flooding.

A few minutes later the TRW 4MC's "Emergency Report, Emergency Report, flooding, flooding from the Torpedo Room, flooding from VLS." I ordered the DOOW to make his depth 200 ft and the cavitate bell to the Helm. CO flies out of his Stateroom and into control with a poopysuit half on, when a second 4MC came out "flooding was a drill initiated for training, secure from the drill."

Turned out one of the SKs had a green bathtowel hanging up to dry in the VLS area, and the TRW thought it looked exactly like the other green sheets that we used to simulate flooding... the aforementioned SK was summoned to Chief's Quarters and I don't think he ever hung his towel up in the TR ever again.

7/30/2012 11:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our COW overflowed the aux trim tank in AMR and water is gushing in. When the report comes in, he announces on the 1MC "Fluuhhhh," and then hits the general, collision and RP Casualty alarms in order.

Down in AMR, the guys quickly figure out what happened and hit flood control, followed by the CAT team arriving with fire hoses. CO was pissed.

7/30/2012 12:09 PM

Anonymous Jay the nuk said...


Sounds like he had his bases covered. ;')

7/30/2012 1:14 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Returning from WESPAC on SEADRAGON in 1968. Standing EOOW watch. Maneuvering was over shaft alley in the 578 class. Heard a pop sound aft of maneuvering and the oncoming RO who lived in the stern room came to Maneuvering soaking wet, eyes as big as saucers and informed me - "I think we have a leak" I sent the EWS back to check out the problem and requested CONN to proceed to PD as quickly as possible. Investigation revealed that a SEALOL seal valve had blown its packing. Leak was quickly isolated and transit home to overhaul was resumed. Later on that same transit, the EWS came to maneuvering with a small gauge isolation valve in his hand (it was on the gauge line for the Main Sea Water System), slammed on the EOOW desk and said -"Don't worry, I put a DC plug in the line and it is holding. This didn't even rate a depth change to a shallower depth but the CO then limited the transit depth until we got safely to Pearl Harbor.

7/30/2012 1:15 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Grounded (hit seamount) hundreds of leagues off Cape Cod. A one-man "suicide" watch was posted in our stern room during the tow to NLON. After about 14 months of repairs, and a new CO underwent, experienced my first sea trials.

7/30/2012 2:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First dive in 2002 as NUB Ensign standing outside maneuvering when ASW-21 decides it's had enough and blows it's packing giving myself, NUB Ensign 2, and ENG a seawater shower — MM1 Joe climbs over us like it's no big deal and stops the leak, turns to the both of us Ensigns and gives a hearty "welcome to the Ustafish!"

- LT L

7/30/2012 2:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

boat is in drydock, component TASW (yes, a boomer story), ASW valves torn apart for refinishing.

Water starts spraying from the opened TASW system, SRW calls away flooding.

yeah, he took awhile to live that one down.

better story, deep dive after DSRA (obligatory non boomer story), sitting at test depth cycling valves clearing DFS for seawater systems. 140 dB foghorn transient from the torpedo room (leak by from three way valves). Abrupt chance in depth and angle by the control team, some shorts needed changing in LL.

Not the sort of sounds you ant to here at TD. The entire forward rafts were pulsating with the sound. It was unbelievable. All from maybe 10 gpm leakby.

Fast forward two years to the next DPMA. Yep, same thing, other side. This time we all knew what it was.

7/30/2012 5:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the SRO on 588 class and the mechanics were tearing down the ASW system in AMSUL to work on the hull valve.

"Flooding in the machinery space!"

I hit the chicken switches for the AMS. No report of flooding stopped. WTF? Where is the water coming from?

Then a thought - shut the MSW-AWS cross connect (gone in all later classes I think). That sounded like better idea to me than hitting all the chicken switches. SRW shuts the valve and the flooding ceases just as everyone shows up.

Seems they forgot the X-connect valve in the tagout... Atta boy for me and an ass chewing elsewhere (-;

Old Chief from the dark ages.

7/30/2012 7:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First underway as an E2. On anchor watch in TR for maneuvering watch. Backed out of floating drydock in Holy Loch. Tugs turned us around and away we went. Compartment rigged for dive. We get above a certain speed and I hear water coming in, I tell the TM1. He has me open the bilge hatch and look inside. I see water. He says "are you scared?" I say "no" he said then it isn't flooding. We go faster and water comes in faster, getting nervous now. He looks and wanders towards the 4MC and the Nukes call away flooding in the engine room, so he does the same. We slow down, still in sight of the drydock, flooding stops. We go fast, flooding starts again. Turns out the tender put the under hatch drain valves in backwards and when we rigged for dive we were actually opening them. Once we figured that out we continued on four day sea trial. Got back and tender made the fixes. Didn't know anything about QA or subsafe at the time, but learned quickly when I saw the A-Ganger get busted for gun decking the paperwork.

7/31/2012 5:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

should have said under hatch drain valves for the escape trunks

7/31/2012 5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were doing maintenance in the aft trim tank, replacing zinc oxide bricks, I think. We also had removed the aft trim tank valve for repair (gulp!). So the valve comes back, now repositioned from the "neutral" to the "to" position.

Next day, duty chief loads ballast and almost fills an OPEN aft trim tank. Shipyard worker was not in the tank at the time, but the drop lights were (still lit) as well as his lunch

I still remember "Hey bra, my lunch!"

7/31/2012 3:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prior to HMAS Farncomb's recent "minor" incident...

On 12 February 2003, Dechaineux was operating near her maximum safe diving depth off the coast of Western Australia when a seawater hose burst.[17] The high-pressure seawater flooded the lower engine room before the hose was sealed off: it was estimated that if the inflow had continued for another twenty seconds, the weight of the water would have prevented Dechaineux from returning to the surface.[17]

Let's see you top that, Yanks!

7/31/2012 4:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A seawater "hose" burst? Sholdn't there be a seawater "pipe" instead with a both a hull and a back up valve that can quickly be shut with a flood control accumulator? Do the Brits and Aussies build them this way? Any sub safe rules?

7/31/2012 6:32 PM

Anonymous Drive By Bomb dropper said...

Were there any women on this particular sub? Did they assist in the sinkex and/or cause the flooding?

7/31/2012 7:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As reported Friday, July 22, 2005 here at TSSBP
"Australian Sub Flooding Casualty Details Revealed"

""Update 1033 24 July: Here's an article from The Australian with more info:

"But the submarines continue to use the same type of hose as the one that failed and caused the flood because tests have failed to reveal a structural weakness in the hoses or explain why one failed on Dechaineux.
"This hose was in the lower motor room and was part of an auxiliary seawater system that provides cooling for the motors and is exposed to sea pressure.
"The only extra protection since the flood is restraints that have been placed around the hoses to prevent them becoming projectiles if they break."

For those non-submariners out there who might be wondering why they just don't use a hard pipe to replace the "hose", there is a reason...""

You are welcome!


7/31/2012 9:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minor flood is an oxymoron on a submarine at depth. The only minor leaks on a deep-dived sub are connected with visits to a head.

7/31/2012 11:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for some 5 on 1 !

8/01/2012 1:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubbing another one out thanks to Vaginus Anonymous post and blog link! Thanks!

8/01/2012 10:44 AM

Blogger Ross Kline said...

USS Houston, May 1989....the stupid got lucky. We fought the casualty in EABs due to the battery getting wet.

8/01/2012 2:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chief of the Watch as a 1st class A-Ganger at sea on a 637 stretch in the MED. Surfaced by driving up and starting the blowers, manning the bridge, and getting ready to shift to surface steaming. NOW we know we surfaced between two large swells that were traveling just a bit quicker than we were somehow. Anyway, all unsuspecting like we proceeded with the procedure, open hatches, sent men to the bridge, manned the phones with the bridge as the bridge was being rigged, etc. After about five minutes we heard some garbled screaming rants over the phones....just as the trailing swell overtook the boat and a solid column of water commenced to come down the hatch for what seemed like forever but was probably no more than a few seconds. Water was above boot-tops in control as it ran below-decks. Screaming from the helmsman, screaming from the CONN, flooding called away from the TR, then the Crew's Mess...all the time (again probably just a few seconds) with more water roaring in... End result is we blew the shit out of the b-tanks and changed course and all was well, but wet. The on-coming OOD and lookout on the bridge were called below. They were wet, scared shitless, and a bit ragged, but otherwise all was well. I think we shorted out CAMS and a television in Crew's Mess and that was all.


Next story - not really flooding but unwanted water everywhere none the less. In port Rota, same boat, filling PW tanks from the pier at about 0400 in the morning as duty auxiliaryman/section leader. Had three tanks on line to fill at once. As the first tank filled I throttles shut the tank fill valve and was supprised to hear some minor water hammers. No biggie, just assumed pier pressure was high. As the next tank filled I throttled shut that tanks inlet valve only to have major water hammering commence again. About this time the Below Decks called away "Leak in UL, secure filling potable." I ran up to discover the PW system relief (in the overhead above the CO's stateroom) had lifted as I reduced down to just one fill tank. Water everywhere, and a near-naked just awakened, probably still drunk CO standing in the p-way wet up to his ankles at 0415 in a foreign port. Great fun that one.

8/01/2012 3:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A seawater "hose" burst? Sholdn't there be a seawater "pipe" instead with a both a hull and a back up valve that can quickly be shut with a flood control accumulator?" - Anon 7/31/2012 6:32 PM

Rex answered your question for you with excepts from Bubblehead's TSSP blog from July 2005. No!

And, if anyone is wondering what BH meant by at that time when he stated, "For those non-submariners out there who might be wondering why they just don't use a hard pipe to replace the 'hose', there is a reason..."

Many of us are wondering if the answer he had in mind still obtains after Farncomb's repeat.


8/01/2012 7:21 PM

Anonymous village idiot said...

why do they use a hose and not a pipe? didn't see link.

8/02/2012 8:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A float in the gauge? Hrm... it wouldn't surprise me if this incident is why NRRO banned floats in gauges at some point.

I know we got hammered one day for having floats in our gauges... apparently NRRO came down, saw them, pointed at them and asked a watchstander "What is that?"

Big flail, and we had to remove all of the floats in the site gauges, even though they had been there probably since the ship (CGN) had been built.

8/02/2012 9:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"why do they use a hose and not a pipe? didn't see link." -village id.

Hose is relatively flexible, cheap, and women are accustomed to changing it.

8/03/2012 9:17 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Flexible hose is used for sound silencing purposes. The rubber won't transfer the motor sounds to the hull like metal pipe would.

8/03/2012 9:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was standing BDW while in port when the Duty Chief wanted to load variable ballast on the 698 in Pearl. After a while on my rounds I heard the sound of water trickling in the AMR bilges. I couldn't see the bilges with a flashlight and proceeded forward to the torpedo room following the sound of the water flow. Opened the deck access to look at the forward trim tank level and potable water level and found seawater almost to the deck plates. Turned out the Duty Chief at the BCP didn't switch tanks while loading and the relief valves lifted and water started pouring in the bilges. I called the topside watch and yelled at him to get a draft level and then yelled over the 7MC to secure bringing on variable. The Duty Chief was disqualed from standing Duty Chief. I got an attaboy.

8/03/2012 4:02 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Mud seeking missle - Puerto Rico Trench, 1990.

8/03/2012 9:00 PM

Anonymous k said...

Yikes, did anyone hear more about this one?

8/04/2012 9:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submarining has been a hazardous occupation from day one. Yet some U.S. complacency has set in of late, not among qualified US submariner crews, but with certain politicians, appointees and fawning admirals who know very little about it beyond the fact we have not lost a boat for 44 years.

Safe enough for women now; and they are quite certain of it.

8/05/2012 6:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8/05/2012 6:53 PM

Anonymous STS2 said...

In other news, my old boat is back off PAC.

8/09/2012 11:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sank the Jonas Ingram while on the Norfolk during the ADCAP Sinkex in 88. First the boom, then "bullseye!" on the 1MC. The fish broke her in two, and left a piece of her mast floating as a hazard to navigation. We had to stay as a guard until a skimmer came the next day and sank the piece with its guns.

10/15/2012 7:42 AM

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12/02/2012 2:52 PM


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