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.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Reason It's Better To Be At Sea Than In Port

At sea, you never have to worry about "Fire in the forward Main Ballast Tank" being called away, as they heard today on USS Annapolis (SSN 760):
Subase spokesman Chris Zendan said the fire was reported at about 9 a.m. The flash fire occurred in the forward ballast tank, which helps the ship stay below or at surface.
The ship was on the base’s dry dock undergoing maintenance, said Zendan. All nonessential personnel were evacuated from the ship. Three Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employees were in the area during fire. They were evaluated and released at the scene, he said.
Anyone want to bet against "hot work catching rags on fire" as the cause?

I also love the explanation of the purpose of the MBTs. I suppose it's technically accurate from a certain perspective to say they "(help) the ship stay below or at the surface", but it could make one wonder if, without the MBTs, the ship would somehow go airborne, which is the only other option. As everyone knows, the only thing that can make a submarine do that is an inexperienced or unlucky DOOW. Please share your memories of your favorite times the DOOW "earned his wings".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many earning wings stories to type here...

One of the more interesting in port fires I have seen has got to be "Fire in the stern light"

One) How do you fight this with out a row boat?

Two) If the on duty electrician is to secure power how often do they frequent the navigation panels other than under way checklists?

7/18/2008 11:39 PM

Blogger plouzek said...

Uh... Yeah. The stern light has gotta be an odd fire to work with. Makes you wonder what the duty NAV ET was doing if the duty EM had to come forward to secure power to the stern light.

7/19/2008 7:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we're on our way back from our '02 run and I had been qualified for oh, maybe a week. This had to be my second or third qualified watch, and the control room was (obviously) stacked with experienced guys to keep my recently-qualified butt out of trouble. The night orders read something like "go east, go fast, and make a run to PD sometime before the end of watch". Piece of cake.

Of course, the fates aligned to make this cake-watch more interesting. This was the run that we were supposed to be out for 75 days, loaded for 90, and stayed for 122 (this event took place about day 110 or so). We had eaten or used everything that we loaded on the boat, and during my previous watch (and my relief's watch) we shot around 200 cans of TDU.

So we clear baffles and head on up with FTC A in the Dive chair. Seems normal to begin with, but you can hear a bit of extra murmuring and FTC A has stopped calling out depths. And it does seem like we're headed up pretty fast...

Scope pops and I begin to do the first safety sweep and I notice that the scope keeps on going up, and up, and up

"Dive, mark you depth?"

"Mark depth aye, depth 38 feet."

"Ummm, Chief, isn't that what is commonly refereed to as 'broached'."

"I was gonna say 'surfaced' but you're the one who has to tell the captain, so yeah, broached sounds a lot better."

Took us 20 minutes and a lot of movement forward to get the damn thing back under.


7/19/2008 9:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1986 on the 637 class I was on we had a new CO, and "shipyard" CO, and were in transit to PSNS. After we picked up a NR Captain (former CO of this boat) in Adak we dove.

What was going through this CO's mind is anybody's guess, but we were on the surface at a 2/3 bell (I was the throttleman) and he ordered a full dive on both the stern and fairwater planes.

When the fairwater planes hit the water at a full dive it sent the boat nose down quickly. We're not sure how much of the boat came out of the water but before I could get the throttles shut one of the main engines tripped on overspeed and the other was probably really close. The aft ballast tank vents had to be cycled again to fill them.


7/19/2008 11:59 AM

Blogger T said...

I remember being on the scope one time and seeing the screw come out a bit. The Perivis operator (yes, the submarine force has gotten that gay) then quickly snapped a picture of it. Unfortunately, the CO made us delete it.

Another good one was actually sometime after we broached, and the CO (who was notoriously bat shit bipolar) then ran up into control screaming, pushed the Stern Planesman off his station and attempted to submerge the ship himself... Unsuccessfully. It was an awkward moment.

7/19/2008 3:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent most of 2003 on the JFK with those fine people from PSNY (they were the "lead" on the ESRA, God only knows why). I've never seen a worse bunch of no-working sloppy assholes in my entire nearly 40 years of shipyard repair and new construction. I was working one item and found out that PSNY was working there also. First thing I did, before I let my crew go set up, was to take a lap around the berthing we were in. To put it mildly, it was a sh!thole. Two garbage cans were full to the top with their soda cans, food wrappers and assorted other crap. I went and grabbed the safety walk and showed them the space, just as the PSNY guys were returning with their hands full of food and drink from the g-dunk in the hangar bay. I told the PNSY project manager to either get these guys to clean their crap up, or get them out while I was working in there, because they were nothing but a fire hazard.

Could not abide those idiots, and I have no doubt they started this fire.

7/20/2008 9:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous @0912,
It was PNSY that was working the 760, not PSNY.


7/20/2008 12:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has been a hard working shipyard. They may be small, but I've seen my share of their work. THEY ACTUALLY TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR WORK!!! What a change from Norfolk, Pearl, or Puget! It was a flash fire too, so something must of just gone up...

7/20/2008 6:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting your wings is not always your own fault...

A certain nuclear JO was razzed unmercifully for a major league slapping of the planes. (I can't remember now if he was Dive or OOD.) Seems his idiot MR2UL (OK, me)was lining up to snorkel and blew the mast without waiting for the order to commence snorkeling. As I recall, I'm just opening valves and checking things off when Dana calls from lower level "Holy sheet, are you blowin the mast?" Then "bam! bam!" Then on the dialex "Machinery 2 you ***hole! You made me slap the planes! What the h*** are you doing!"

This same JO had told Rickover that he wanted to be a pilot. I guess I was just trying to help. We laughed about it together at a reunion last year.

7/21/2008 1:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong temp lights(they weren't the Non-explosive type, piece of tape alot of dust and off we go.

7/29/2008 4:50 PM


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