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.)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

USS Boise Sailor Reportedly Lost

Media reports (nothing official I could find on any Navy websites) indicate that a Sailor onboard USS Boise (SSN 764) fell overboard around noon today at Norfolk Naval Station; his body was reportedly recovered by divers. Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Staying at PD...

Update 1420 07 July: While the name of the lost Submariner has been put out by some people on social media, I don't intend to post his name until the Navy makes the official announcement, and would ask TSSBP commenters to do the same.

Update 1445 08 July: From the Navy website:
The body of a Sailor assigned to USS Boise (SSN 764) was recovered in Norfolk, July 6, during a Navy-led search for the crew member who fell overboard while the submarine was moored to a Naval Station Norfolk pier.
Sonar Technician Submarine Seaman Rolando Acosta, 21, of Plainview, Texas was found dead after falling overboard around noon while standing duty. An investigation is ongoing.
The Navy notified Acosta's family and conveyed its condolences for their loss.
"Seaman Acosta was a hardworking and highly valued shipmate," said Boise Commanding Officer Cmdr. Scott Luers. "His presence will be missed by USS Boise and throughout the submarine force. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Acosta reported to Boise last December. The Norfolk-based submarine was Acosta's first assignment after enlisting in the Navy in January 2012. He attended Navy Submarine School in Groton from March to November last year.
Update 1205 10 July: SN Acosta's funeral will be held in his hometown of Plainview, TX, on Monday.


Blogger Curt said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/06/2013 5:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

7/06/2013 8:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very ODD.
Medical issue or a bullet?

God bless to the kid.

7/06/2013 10:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF? How does one simply fall off a boat and wind up dead?

Either there is a lot more to this event, or they are now allowing people on submarines who shouldn't even be in the Navy.

7/06/2013 11:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "around noon" bit is a telling detail, I suspect... "around watch relief" is another way to look at it. Condolences to the crew and family.

7/06/2013 11:07 PM

Blogger Curt said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/07/2013 6:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen, You Don't StoryThe Whole story. And Don't Disrespect Someone That Paid The Price Defending Our Country... That's Low!!! I Don'tAppreciate This Little Comment AndI'm Sure His Family Would Be Sick.... He Was A Friend, A Father, And A shipmate....

Disgusted Boise Bronco

7/07/2013 6:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds suspicious to me. As in, intentional header more likely than an accidental fall and drowning at noon.

Condolences to Boise and the family nonetheless.

7/07/2013 7:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the people speculating and saying its suspicious... You know what you can do. So if you weren't there and don't know, then please be respectful. He was a great guy. Hard worker and always had a smile on his face. I sat beside him every watch in the shack. This ACTUALLY WAS just a tragic accident. So for the people here making disrespectful comments, I hope you never have to watch a good friend die while knowing there's nothing you can do to stop it! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the rest of my brothers on Boise.

7/07/2013 9:11 AM

Anonymous MM1 Cool said...

Hooyah STS3!!!! Im Sick To My Stomach With These Comments Too. I Didnt Know Him That Well, But I Do KnowThat He Was A Great Guy A Hard Worker And A Tragic Loss For His Family And The TightKnit Boise Brotherhood. He Will Be Missed While He Is OnThe Eternal Watch.

7/07/2013 9:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Settle down. No one is lambasting the dead or saying the individual who passed away was a bad guy. Even if he committed suicide, he did more for his country than most.

When a vague article is released and the only fact known is that a Sailor fell overboard and died in-port right around watch relief, then the mind wanders.

7/07/2013 10:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts go out to his family, friends and shipmates.

Pier-side is a complex industrial environment, not a church picnic. High-voltage lines, crane lifts, vehicular traffic, explosives handling...the list goes on. Just because you are in port does not mean you safe from the perils of submarine service.

Stay safe out there.

7/07/2013 2:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO one is beating or bashing it's just hard to imagine a Sailor Falling Overboard in the middle of the day regardless of the environment shipyard or pier side, the news was very vague at most. And for STS3 I lost and many more on this site have lost more sailors and shipmates in 30 years than you could ever imagine. God bless him on eternal patrol regardless of the circumstances would just like a little decent media truth.

7/07/2013 6:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of passings, I happened to see this just now: Admiral Frank Kelso died about a week ago and was buried last weekend in Tennessee.

7/07/2013 8:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@6:54, I can imagine a Sailor falling overboard from topside in homeport, but I also imagine him swimming back up to the ship if it's summertime. And if he can't swim, I imagine the topside watch throwing him the life ring. Unless he fell off the sail, which is a whole other ballgame.

7/07/2013 8:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be stationed on a boat out of Norfolk and the pier is quite busy throughout the day. There are people everywhere and there are life rings about every 30 feet or so.

Very strange. I'll be interested to hear the details when they come out.

Perhaps he panicked when he hit the water and just wasn't a strong swimmer? I dunno...

7/07/2013 9:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is disturbing to think you people get on here and talk about how stupid or how he shouldn't be in the navy. He was a very smart young father/sailor. and most of all a boise bronco. I think you people should have a little more intelligence and tact. If you don't know what happen shut the f**k up about it. stupidity is all that can explain some of these comments.
ET2/ss Hopkins

RIP little brother you will not be forgotten

7/07/2013 9:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, PO Hopkins, maybe you should fill us in.

7/07/2013 9:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter at all what people can or cannot imagine. The fact remains that what happened is what happened. Watchstanders carry guns and ammo that aren't lightweight. So is it really so hard to understand that he actually did just fall overboard and never came back up? Life rings do no good if you can't grab it. There are a lot of people in a lot of pain right now over the loss of a brother. As submariners I would imagine that we would lend support and understanding to our brothers where, instead, there are people saying very disrespectful things. The Boise is probably the most tight, close knit organization I've ever been a part of and it troubles me that people come on here and say things that sound demeaning or accusatory about this kid. It was an accident that went terribly wrong. That's coming from someone who was there. Can't it be left at that?

7/07/2013 10:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, if something tragic happened to one of my friends, and I read people's blogs that were trying to come to a conclusion, or wrongly guessing what happened, I would immediately clear up that confusion. And I would not wait until an official release was made. Either these Boise sailors providing comment are not whom they say they are or maybe they just don't care what people say about their friend.

7/08/2013 7:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's probably a gag order out there, and it's not hard to figure out who, out of a group of 150ish Sailors, posted the information.

7/08/2013 8:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How awful. The Navy is now identifying him -

Hopefully we can learn something from this - sadly it is hard to understand how this could happen.

7/08/2013 10:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A handful of you guys are real jerks. Show some respect for a submariner who died while on watch. If you cannot even manage that then keep your thoughts to yourself. He died doing his duty, it was a sad accident in a hazardous environment, prayers to his family and the crew of the Boise.

7/08/2013 10:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to 10:38

The comments in this blog never fail to remind me, three years later, why I'm so happy to go to my civilian job every day. I've never had civilian coworkers that even approached the level of self-indulgence, whininess, and general sociopathy seen on a submarine.

7/08/2013 1:17 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Seaman Rolando had excellent potential for submarining.

As a Seaman Apprentice he had graduated from BESS in May 2012, with a GPA > 90.

No doubt he will be missed by his crewmates, as well as his family and friends.

Of most concern to me in the "scuttlebutt' variety comments above are Anon's (@ 8:20PM) suggestions " And if he can't swim, I imagine the topside watch throwing him the life ring."

While neither reflects poorly on this unfortunate sailor, both castigate the submarine service.

Doesn't the Navy still teach and require sailors to swim?

Wouldn't the other watchstander who spotted him have tossed a flotation line? (“He was spotted immediately by another watchstander,”said Lt. Tim Hawkins, spokesman for Submarine Group 2)?

fatal accidents happen, but submarine crews have traditionally been at least basic swimmers and biased for life-saving action after all.

As usual, much is missing from the initial press release.

7/08/2013 2:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very sorry for the Boise and the loss of a shipmate. My condolences also go out to the family.
If you have ever had to wear this new blueberry uniform in the rain it can get heavy quick when it rains. Add the weight of these POS boots we have to wear it would, in my opinion become very heavy, very quick if you fell into the water. Even in the calm conditions of being in port. Not safe in a fire, not safe in the water... needs to go!!

7/08/2013 4:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean no disrespect here, but I'm going to say what I'm going to say. As a diver, perhaps I'm biased, but unless the SN was unconscious when he hit the water, ditching the heavy stuff seems pretty rudimentary. There has to be more to this than a simple fall into the drink.

7/08/2013 5:48 PM

Blogger Edwin Ostroot said...

Please tell me that his FP gear did not drag him under! Would he have been saved by a KPOC? Does anyone know if a KPOC is rated to support a sailor in full FP gear?

My deepest sympathies for the family and the family that happens to be crew.

LCDR Edwin Ostroot

7/08/2013 6:08 PM

Anonymous mbroughton53 said...

Meet ya on the other side at the Fiddlers Green.

7/08/2013 6:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was checking drafts aft, and slipped. The POOD saw it immediately, called it away and ran aft but, the Sailor was gone. They put a ship's diver in to find him and only found his M-16. He could have knocked himself out, or knocked the wind out of himself. And, for those that asked. A floatation device is not required during the day. My heart goes out to the crew and the Sailor's family.
I continue to be amazed at the vileness of some of the comments that are posted anonymously on this blog.

7/08/2013 8:30 PM

Blogger Edwin Ostroot said...

According to REI's website: a typical adult requires 7-12 lbs buoyancy to keep their chin above water. The highest rated (USCG) life preservers deliver ~22 lbs buoyancy. If someone were wearing more than 15 lbs of negative buoyancy gear, they'd have a hard time treading water. Much more than that and they'd have no chance. Between steel toed boots, helmet, web belt, ammo, weapons, vest etc. what are our guys carrying? Have they ever been safe topside even in a kapok?

Can one of the serving Weps or FP Czars answer this one? I understand that kapoks are not required during the day, but was this a tragedy waiting to happen?

7/08/2013 10:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought our homeport shipboard FP manning was ridiculous. The risk isn't worth the gain, especially in bad weather. It's a shame it took a man overboard to prove it.

I bet IG determines the STS was 'working over the side' when he went aft of the life rails to check the drafts.

7/08/2013 11:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he had a rifle or shotgun, the accompanying ammo, Kevlar with plate insert and that horrible helmet with chinstrap securely fastened...that's a lot of gear. If you JUMPED in wearing all that and with laced up boots, even knowing when you would hit the water, it would be a challenge for many to survive w/o any flotation on. I can sim fine, but I am no Navy Diver... Slipping on the slime by the aft end (been there, walked forward in wet dungarees, thankful I didn't go all the way in) would be a surprise and I can imagine no chance to get even half a lungful of air if that is what happened. Sad. When did they stop wearing flotation stuff? I grew up wearing kapok, and when I was standing DCPO years ago they still wore auto-inflates topside...

My condolences on the loss of your Shipmate and our Sonar Brother.

Having a questioning attitude is part of our submarine culture. Try to see the earlier comments in that light. Some definitely have a crappy way of presenting their questions, but asking them isn't wrong. If you have more info that you can share and are willing, I would like to hear it, so we can prevent a possible repeat of this accidental tragedy.


7/08/2013 11:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Condolences to family and friends.

For the (likely old fart) doubters: you don't need to be wearing a steel-plated vest to be negatively buoyant in the water.

When doing the swim-qual test upon joining the Navy, I had to swim while dragging a man like everyone else. Unlike everyone else, my test buddy was a bonafide college football player, completely fit and without a trace of fat. Guy had to be 25-35 lbs. negative in the water. Passed the test...but only because he fluttered along on his own, just as I'd done when he was dragging me...or we'd have both sunk like a rock.

RIP to Admiral Kelso as well. He was one of the great ones.

7/09/2013 7:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having both my children in the Navy and one on The USS Boise, my heart breaks for this family! May they find the peace they need to move forward due to such a truly devastating loss. If I could I would hug each and everyone of you. Thank you for your service Seaman Acosta you will not be forgotten!

7/09/2013 9:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice seeing your contribution senior; good to know there is still some good leadership for the current generation.

7/09/2013 9:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not that hard to sink if you're carrying two firearms, ammunition and a bulletproof vest (lead plates in the front and back). I swim well, but I could understand how someone could struggle with that much stuff. To think it was anything else is insulting.

7/09/2013 3:58 PM

Blogger Edwin Ostroot said...

I imagine the uniform board owns some of this. Why we ever left the boondockers, I'll never understand. You could kick them off without untying. This ridiculous 9 inch leather boot takes me most of a minute to remove sitting down. How far will a sailor sink removing his FP gear? Kicking back to the surface wearing these boots would be nearly impossible.
My new fear is that a kapok might not even be enough. Having a kapok as the most external garment makes removing some of the heavy FP gear problematic.
I expect a NAVADMIN requiring the kapok in FP gear 24/7 very soon.

7/09/2013 4:57 PM

Anonymous Port-n-Starboard said...

Please tell me this guy was not wearing anything more than a regular work uniform with deck shoes and a sidearm! If someone up the chain of command issued orders for the topside watch to wear anything more than that (Body armor? Seriously?) then they are responsible for this man's death. Anyone standing topside watch is at risk of going into the drink, especially someone junior, and should be outfitted accordingly (and should damn well be able to swim).

It is scary to see how far down the Navy has gone since the 1980s.

7/09/2013 7:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the 1980s, Fleet Forces Command has imposed the Submarine Force Protection Manual. In it is the requirements for weapon/body armor wear. Included in that are also random anti-terrorism measures where you have to occassionally don body armor because it deters the bearded guy in a turban spying on your ship in Norfolk from launching his attack.

So no, it's not the CO's fault for following operational guidance. However, it is the CO's fault (and everyone who signed the Sailor's Topside Sentry qual card) if the crew was not properly trained on topside safety and where they could/could not go without being tethered in a kapok with a jacobs latter thrown over the side to help them get back if they fall.

7/09/2013 8:19 PM

Blogger Old Man from the Sea said...

I don't think there was such a command as Fleet Forces Command in the 1980's. I think it was CINCLANTFLT back then.

7/10/2013 3:27 AM

Blogger Old Man from the Sea said...

God bless and keep the Boise family. Sailor rest your oar.

7/10/2013 3:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waoooooooo !!!!
Some people just have nothing better to do with their life's but I will like for you guys to have some respect for the family . Rolando loves his family & He will never do anything to hurt them. This was a bad horrible accident & I don't think is none of your business to be talking !!! Have some respect for the family & friends. Rolando was a very happy guy & the last word we heard from him is I see you guys Sunday at church !!! What happen ?? How it happen ?? It's for the investigation people to find out not for you guys to be jumping to conclusions . You should focus more on praying for the family the is in pain then trying to figure out how he drawn . God had his purpose for Rolando & it was his time to go home .

See you in heaven
We will miss you

7/10/2013 6:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drown *

7/10/2013 6:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't speak for everyone, but I don't think anyone means any disrespect as they question how this could happen. Most people here do this job or love someone who does - and we'd like to know what happened to make damn sure it doesn't happen again. It is beyond sad that this young man had to lose his life before anyone looked at whether slipping into the water was survivable in the Navy's latest fashion statement plus anti-terrorism gear.

7/10/2013 10:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone recall the last time a topside watch drowned in port? When the navy had 50% more subs than today, I recall one T/S watch electrocuted at Groton when the heated "shack" he was in went overboard into the Thames.

Otherwise, drownings occured at sea, typically in heavy weather. We lost Commander A. L. Wilderman, CO of USS Plunger (SSN-595), overboard in a storm just off San Francisco. 2 Dec. 1973.

Anon @ 10:39 is correct: We are certainly within our rights to make damn sure it doesn't happen again.

John Alt

7/10/2013 12:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my 688 class boat a watch stander fell into the water with a kapoc. It didn't inflate but he also didn't sink. I can't remember what other gear he was wearing. This was over 4 years ago. Sorry for your loss


7/10/2013 1:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Baton Rouge SSN-689 had a topside watch fall overboard in '1987. I was in Newport News in dry dock on the GW Carver at the time. I remember coming to work as a seamen, walking by the dock, and seeing his body floating by the dock. He was bloated and starting to get algae growing on hands and face. This torments me to this day.... The shoes constricting his feet, the bloated and waterlogged body. I was the one to call authorities. I do not wish this to ever happen to another person. I am still haunted by this.

7/10/2013 4:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Learn to speak and write English before you even attempt to tell anyone what to think or say here.

7/10/2013 4:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a shame that this thread, dealing with a tragedy, has acquired a bit of an "us vs. them" character. I'd like to suggest something for each faction to try to improve some understanding and civility. To the old school submariners here (I count myself as one - SD fast attacks in the 80s), remember when you were 22 or so, dealing with tough issues for the first time, and try to cut the guys posting with connections to the boat a little slack. And, to the guys on the Boise (apparently) posting - try to understand that most of us are just now getting an inkling that things have changed dramatically for topside watches in the past twenty years or so. Many of us are picturing a topside watch (usually, there was just one, not a POOD and a sentry) wearing deck shoes, not boondockers that someone correctly said could be kicked off, and certainly not the mid-calf lace-up boots now worn, with no kevlar vest or helmet, wearing either lightweight dungarees or dress whites or blues, not the (to us) ridiculous over-the-top working uniform of today. I recall topside watches only occasionally being armed with a shotgun on top of the .45, and I believe, a kapok at times. Without an accurate picture of what the poor soul standing watch topside these days is required to outfit himself with, it's very hard to fathom how someone could drown pierside at noon on a summer's day. Oh, another thing... is the Navy so fucking inept now that a submarine pier cannot be secured with going to these measures for force protection? I still work for the Navy, and am familiar with recent security improvements at the Bangor and Point Loma piers. It's hard not to think that the bubble has been lost regarding safety topside.

7/10/2013 5:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FP manning requirements make no logical sense. What actually happened is some CWO or O-4 copy/pasted guidance from DOD directives, complete with bad grammar, and applied it to submarines with little thought on whether the requirements were warranted. Pair this with DoD often setting FP posture higher than is justified by their definitions, and you have a recipe for manning topside with 3-4 Sailors decked out like they're about to fight WWIII pierside. There are supposed to be 1-2 sentries topside when piloting, too, but our CO blew the whistle on that due to obvious safety concerns.

There are plenty of sentries provided by base security pier side, and even more in many foreign ports.

Having said that, the crux of the issue is why did a Sailor go to a part of the ship topside where no fall protection existed? You can just as easily check drafts from the pier, hell you can see it from just aft of the sail. It doesn't really matter what he was wearing -- he shouldn't have fallen overboard in the first place.

7/10/2013 7:07 PM

Blogger Edwin Ostroot said...

Ok, I'm also one of the old salts. I started in 1987, but I'm still active. Given the size of the Navy, properly trained and certified people fall overboard.
My concern is this shipmate despite following all instructions had little to no chance. I do not want to see this happen again. I want to know if a kapok will keep the worst case random FP measures afloat.
Could you imagine the horror? I'm worried Michael Phelps might not live through falling overboard even with a kapok in our worst case random FP measures.
As one of the decision makers, I want to be able to sleep at night. Last week I would have relied on the FP manual and followed instructions. I would have thought someone would have added up the buoyancy of all the material to keep my guys safe. Now, I want to tie all the stuff to a rope and dip it into the river to see for myself before I sign another FP plan.
Eventually another topside watchstander will fall overboard. I want that person to be saved by the ring buoy and tell the story on the mess decks.

7/10/2013 8:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one asking why he was behind the lifelines checking drafts in broad daylight? If not behind, then why so far aft? Very strange.

18-year LDO

7/10/2013 11:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^^ More questions than answers released. This is just SAD. As expected, today SUBFOR released a message reiterating the 24 hour requirements of topside watches and float protection gear. YGBSM. Will it take a force protection officer sinking next to a boat in that amount of crap to learn something from this?


7/11/2013 1:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/11/2013 2:19 AM

Anonymous Dardar the Submarian said...

Ya know – the “Myth Busters” do this kind of shit every week. I am not trying to be funny, but am serious about getting some Myth Buster group to test all of these scenarios; an outside entity from which real results will be broadcast. We all know, if left in the hands of the folks making these poor decisions, that the powers that be will white wash the results. God help me for saying this, but public display of poor decisions – in this day and age – is the only thing that gets results. Hell, this blog is the only place I even heard about this tragic event,
OOoooh, but I did hear who was cut from Dancing with the Fucking Stars.
As for the insensitivity from some of the others on this blog – I get it. Everybody has a safety mechanism. Some cry, some yell, some question, and, yes, some are rude and insensitive. It stems from folks putting themselves in that position. “If this poor kid fell into a trap, what about me?” And let’s face it – it is all about me, right? That is the reason for the insensitive questions, or the outright conclusion that it had to be self-inflicted somehow. There is no way a kid could just fall in, and not come back, because that means I could just fall in and not come back – and that is just bullshit!

Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; Oh rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.

7/11/2013 5:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7/10 at 4:14 pm - "Learn to speak and write English before you even attempt to tell anyone what to think or say here."

Were you referring to the poster at 6:37 am? The one whose last communication from Seaman Acosta was "I see you guys Sunday at church" ? A close friend, maybe an adoptive Navy mom, of a young sailor? Maybe a friend from his hometown Plainview, TX, a place closer to Mexico than to the ocean?

Are you unhappy with this person's writing ability? Have some compassion. This person just lost a friend, one of our submarine brothers.

Jon Walsh
retired submarine sailor

7/11/2013 1:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he/she wants compassion, they shouldn't be coming to a freaking submarine blog (where they've probably never landed before) telling everyone, in essence, STFU.

Sorry, I wanna know what happened. And I find it incredulous that people are willing to just sweep this away as a freak accident. Not buying it. But let's assume it was and he truly "just fell in" with all that ridiculous shit on, are submariners now so poorly trained that they can't ditch that gear and get back to the surface? Unless he was knocked unconscious on the fall, I find that scenario difficult to believe.

At a minimum, BESS escape tower training should have prepared him to not panic in any similar waterborne situation.

I hate that the kid lost his life, but if what is reported to have happened did happen in the manner reported, he was poorly prepared to be on the boat.

7/11/2013 5:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get dressed in what they wear topside and sling your shotgun/rifle across your back and jump in and try to tread water. The new uniform and boots, Kevlar, helmet, 2 guns (sometimes) and ammo is a lot of weight. This was a young kid, probably in good shape, but he would still sink like a rock with that gear on and no flotation. I'd like to try it in a pool with someone ready to drag me to the shallow end just in case. You don't go in the tower in BESS wearing all that stuff.

7/12/2013 1:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're missing the point. The point is not whether or not one can tread water wearing that shit, the question is whether or not one can assess the situation, decide to ditch it, successfully do so, then get to the surface. If topsides are not wearing adequate flotation and they haven't been trained/screened for their ability to do what I described above, they have been set up for failure.

7/12/2013 11:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous on 7/11 at 5:00 pm: It was the anonymous poster on 7/10 at 4:14 whose message was an explicit 'STFU if you can't write English', presumably directed at a grieving friend of submariner Seaman Acosta.

Mike Mulligan may deserve an STFU when he posts his nonsense, but this situation is different. A sailor died in an accident, and his friends deserve our condolences, not ridicule from someone anonymous with an ax to grind.

Jon Walsh
retired submariner

7/12/2013 4:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew a dude who slipped on the algae, flipped over and hit his head on bare HY-80 before ending up in the drink. Out cold. The diver got his head above water until he came to. Shit can happen - just sayin'.

7/12/2013 4:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember in Norfolk, an IC2 went in the water and from what I remember, his Kapok slipped off and his body was recovered later, I seem to recall that it was cold and I do not remember the details. I always thought that it was the 688 D & S Pier, cSS-8 or whatever its called today.

7/12/2013 6:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to buy Mr. Walsh a beer!

7/12/2013 7:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's be realistic -- is anyone really saying that swim training in boot camp/BESS adequately prepares someone who accidentally falls in the drink to ditch 20 lbs of gear underwater and get to the surface? If so, I want what you're smoking.

People are trying to figure out what happened because they care and because they want to pass the LL to their buddies so they don't die in the drink. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but that's the reality of it. Instead of telling everyone to STFU, why don't you tell us why he felt the need to be aft of the lifelines to read drafts on the rudder?

7/13/2013 12:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pierside non-naval puke here.

I once was positively buoyant, and I remember what a huge rude shock it was when, after a few years and after packing on some bone and muscle mass, I plunged into the Big Salty and then found that I would then sink immediately without prompt and continuous athletic motions. Near panic ensued.

That was in board shorts.

Board shorts minus laced up mid-calf boots, long trousers, helmet, sidearm, and the various other weighty impedimentia with which the departed had to struggle in the water.

Also, I had not slipped and been rudely whacked on the head in the course of entering the Big Salty.

If gear is officially considered to be safe for topside pierside use, the CO should have no aversion to personally demonstrating its safety for such use, by donning said gear and going over the side without a line.

After first simulating a slip and taking a sharp blow to the helmet.

7/13/2013 1:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's be realistic -- is anyone really saying that swim training in boot camp/BESS adequately prepares someone who accidentally falls in the drink to ditch 20 lbs of gear underwater and get to the surface? If so, I want what you're smoking.

No dumbass, I'm saying that when the dress/equipment requirements drastically changed, if evaluations/training wasn't done of what was previously mentioned to ensure survivability of someone who went overboard (and it WILL happen again), they screwed the pooch. I guarantee you that unless I was knocked unconscious, I could easily rid myself of all that gear and get back to the surface. But I have the advantage of being trained to do so. Something the kid in this event did not have.

7/13/2013 9:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point, dumbass, is few submariners ever had that training. Put him in dungarees or a poopie suit and he still will drown. BESS isn't BUD/S, they don't teach you how to doff heavy gear underwater while an instructor rips your air off.

They don't really teach said Sailors to handle the firearms they're carrying, either. Go to the range. Point it that way. Shoot a few times. Reload. Shoot more. On one knee this time. Congrats, you go stand watch.

7/13/2013 10:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . . few submariners ever had that training.

Therein lies the problem.

7/13/2013 10:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The risk of drowning is one that is acceptable to the bean counters who wrote the FP manual. The best way to prevent yourself from drowning is to not go into areas where you have a high risk of slipping and falling overboard. The sub force is going to stress prevention, not correction.

The failure of training is why did this sailor think it was okay to go aft beyond the lifeline to read a draft without being tethered to something?

7/14/2013 9:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admit is has been a long time since I last served but WTF happened to topside watches being tethered to the safety rail for night watches?

Just wondering...

Old chief from the dark ages

7/14/2013 4:56 PM

Anonymous Attention to Detail said...

vigilis it think you meant < 90. Praising a grade of less than ( >90 )doesn't make sense.

Not criticizing, just identifying an honest mistake.

7/16/2013 3:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^ WTF??? Do you know the difference between a ">" and a "<", and can describe them with proper English? ^^^

7/16/2013 5:46 PM

Anonymous English Major said...

Vaginalis said...

"Seaman Rolando had excellent potential for submarining.

As a Seaman Apprentice he had graduated from BESS in May 2012, with a GPA > 90."

So, I too agree with Anon @ 7/16/2013 5:46 PM

7/16/2013 5:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it is < 90 gpa. The open end always faces the greater number.

7/16/2013 7:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Mulligan is posting anonymously @7:44. I can think of no other who'd post that...

7/16/2013 8:01 PM

Anonymous Dardar the Submarian said...

Hey, I have an idea. Use the fucking word (greater than, less than) instead of a symbol

7/17/2013 6:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would someone go farther aft than necessary? To get an accurate aft draft while the rudder is centered. Best intentions for a diligent watch stander. A better practice is to just rove aft on the pier and read it from there in safety, but sometimes the layout on the pier doesn't allow that.

Greater than 90, less than 90...doesn't matter - an earnest young Sailor serving our country died on watch. His degree of academic success or lack of same has no bearing on this tragedy.

7/17/2013 2:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attention to detail--

You are one stupid son of a bitch

7/17/2013 7:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/22/2013 6:26 PM

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8/09/2013 12:36 PM

Anonymous Tassemet said...

I went to BESS with this fine sailor. To say that he was stupid is a understatement. He graduated top of our class with high honors.

More likely the case is he passed out due to heat exhaustion fell overboard and couldn't cry for help due to the weight on him. He was physically fit, but small. So to those who think he threw himself in or anything to the contrary, you are a bunch of idiots. Rolando was full of nothing but the best intentions.


8/13/2013 10:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I can't quote the MRC, I'm fairly certain that the TMs have a PMS card that requires them to dress out in full FP gear plus a flotation device and jump into a pool to verify it works..

8/17/2013 7:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must have been why those TM's were always at the base pool with body armor and machineguns.

8/26/2013 11:18 AM

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9/06/2013 1:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting as an outsider to see some of these comments disturbing to see how many describe decline of the navy....

9/20/2013 11:41 PM


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