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, January 27, 2005

Picture of San Francisco in Drydock

(Intel source: Ron Martini's Submarine BBS) Here at last is the officially released picture of the San Francisco in drydock. I'll need to take a closer look at this later to see what I can figure out, but for now, all I can say is "Wow"... it's an even more impressive indication of the professional seamanship demonstrated by the San Francisco Captain and crew in getting her back home.

Update 1701 27 Jan: Some of my thoughts on the damage are in the comments. Here's another picture from the official Navy site; this one shows the view from the drydock floor. Click on the "Download HiRes" option for an even closer view.

Update 2245 27 Jan: Here's some more coverage of the release of the photos from CNN and the New York Times (registration will likely be required soon). The NYT article has one piece of information that I hadn't seen before:

"Also yesterday, Kent D. Lee, the chief executive of East View Cartographic Inc., a map company based in Minneapolis, said Russian Navy charts indicate more hazards in that part of the ocean than were on the American charts, though they also fail to show the undersea mountain.
"Mr. Lee said the Russian charts have been available for five years. He said one of the Russian charts noted that the area where the crash occurred had been "insufficiently surveyed." It also warned: "Cautionary measures should be taken when sailing."

Going deep...


Blogger ninme said...

Good heavens. You look at that picture and think, wow, it looks like it's stuffed with old towels. Then you see the teeeeeensy tiny man standing on top of it and you think "My God! Huge, HUUUUUUGE towels!" That's a big ol' submarine.

1/27/2005 12:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the USS RAY after she ran aground in the Straits of Sicily. I wonder if there will be any talk of decommissioning the ship. It was just recently refueled, but when you look at that God, the port TT's even looked trashed.
You have got to wonder what the impact did to the equipment and machinery inside the ship (i.e., shifting, etc.).
Looking at this damage, I feel very fortunate that when my first boat ran aground in '94 (JEFFERSON CITY) that we did not hit like they did (fun job for the DCA).
Drydocking comment: must have been damn near impossible to ballast the ship properly to get 0/0 list and trim to dock.

1/27/2005 1:28 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I finally got a chance to look at the hi-res picture at the Navy website, and it looks to me as though while the shutter doors are destroyed (especially #2, the top one on the port side) the muzzle door itself, and the rest of the tube, were a few feet aft of the destroyed area. The port ballast tanks collapsed all the way back to what I'm pretty sure is the pressure hull. I just did a quick calculation, and if we assume the ship did have a delta V of about 30mph (as stated in various places), for a 7,600 ton ship, that works out to about 621 megajoules of energy... that's about 300 lbs of TNT. Jeez, am I a geek...

1/27/2005 1:56 PM

Blogger WillyShake said...

I thought about that F=mv calculation too, shipmate ...guess that makes me a geek too! Guys have mentioned the "luck" of the 711 not being a VLS boat, but hell, now we see how close they were to an utter catastrophe if there were weapons in the tubes. *shudder*

1/27/2005 4:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were two weapons loaded at impact. Both had bent pins but not otto breach and were offloaded last week. Amazing stuff, and thank God we don't use peroxide loads.

1/27/2005 5:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the ship took a glancing blow, too. Wonder what would have happened had the ship hit straight on?

1/27/2005 10:32 PM

Blogger Robert Schumacher said...

Our weapons handling Master Chief at PHNSY (I work in the next office) told me the port tubes are knocked off kilter, the shutters and muzzle doors are gone, and even the breech doors are jammed. Also heard the MBT vent valves were FUBAR, as well as ruptures in the MBT's, sonar dome is destroyed, and I have heard rumblings of decom. Of course, it will all depend on the assessment of damage (and I've heard nothing official, just a lot of speculation).

My hat's off and a salute raised to Captain Mooney and the crew for bringing the San Fran home...and to the designers, builders, and those who've repaired and maintained her over her life. It takes some real engineering and seamanship to bring a boat home with that sort of damage. I'll sail with those guys any day.

1/28/2005 1:07 AM

Blogger Zoe Brain said...

From a Bubblehead mate of mine:
They got really lucky, as they had just started serving lunch, meaning that a large fraction of the crew was sitting. Immediately before they were going through an extended maintenance and cleaning evolution, which involved having deck plates unsecured and everyone up and about.
It would have been Bad.
Bravo Zulu to the crew. I'm flabbergasted that she managed to surface, especially with 1/3 of the crew with serious injuries. I can't imagine the first few minutes after impact, and don't really want to try.

I also wouldn't want to rely on that pressure hull again. It will probably be cheaper to salvage the reactor compartment, put in new machinery, and build a new hull for her. A "Great Repair".

1/28/2005 5:27 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Good comments! Rob, it does from the picture like #2 muzzle door was gone; having the tubes knocked off-kilter was one of the things that always scared me, since if the welds crack on both sides of the pressure hull bulkhead, well, there ain't no flood control lever that'll fix that one. Alan -- I remember always going slower during field day just in case something bad happened, since the boat wasn't "rigged for sea". My guess is that's why they were running at a flank bell; to make up ground lost while they were going slow during field day.

1/28/2005 6:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that the hull looks bowed out on the port side just below the forward capstan and deck cleats? Is that the forward MBT group or the pressure hull? Looks like extreme distortion in either case. My bet is she’s distend for PSNSY for decommissioning, the $$$ for repair and to re-certify the pressure hull are beyond the useful life. Look for some boat out of San Diego to replace her forward deployment slot in Guam.

Impressive job by the Captain and Crew in bring her back home to Guam. Somebody deserves a metal!

1/28/2005 7:54 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I noticed that crease as well; I know that's not part of the ballast tank, but I think it might be a free-flood area (outside of the pressure hull). It'll be interesting to see what they decide to do.

1/28/2005 1:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, half an hour before the impact we had the sphere access open getting mooring lines preped for our shellback initiation, luck was on our side.

1/28/2005 4:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are also significant ripples on the starboard side from the impact.
We had a heck of a time removing the weapons from tubes two and four, the other ww=eapons went smoothly, after we had a coffer dam installed around the weapons shipping hatch.

1/28/2005 8:35 PM


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