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.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fire On USS Miami

Multiple news outlets are reporting that a fire was seen coming from the area of the dock where the USS Miami (SSN 755) is moored at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Initial reports indicate the fire is located in the forward compartment of the boat, and some firefighters have been injured.

There's not much scarier than a fire on a submarine. What is your submarine fire story?

Update 2252 23 May: Here's an update from Excerpts:
While the fire - located mainly in the USS Miami's living areas and in control spaces - continues to burn, the situation is improving, said Base Commander Capt. Bryant Fuller in a statement to the media at about 11:30 p.m. Six people were injured fighting the fire and were either treated at the scene or transported to a hospital, he said. One of the injured was a firefighter who suffered heat exhaustion but who was conscious and alert, said Fuller...
Steam was still visible at the scene late Wednesday night, due to intense heat from the blaze combined with firefighters' efforts, said Fuller.
Firefighters were initially called to the Shipyard just before 6 p.m. for a report of a fire on a ship in dry dock. Fire crews encountered heavy smoke and fire, and two firefighters were taken from the scene with injuries, the officials said, adding two more firefighters were later taken from the scene for treatment. At 7:30 p.m., black smoke was visible from Prescott Park in Portsmouth, N.H., billowing from the dry dock and a Portsmouth fire truck was on standby at Peirce Island.
Just after 10 p.m., the fire aboard the submarine, docked at Dry Dock 2, went to four alarms and fire dispatchers were describing the fire as "moderate."
Numerous departments from local communities responded. At 10:45 p.m. a Portsmouth ambulance was called to Gate 1 of the shipyard, according to radio communications. Shortly afterwards, an engine and a foam trailer from Logan Airport in Boston, Mass., arrived at the scene. According to the Boston Sparks Association, a fire buff club founded in 1938, an engine from the submarine base in Groton, Conn. was also responding. Apparatus from Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts arrived shortly after 11 p.m.
Shipyard public affairs specialist Gary Hildreth said the fire is located in the forward compartment of the ship and all nonessential personnel were ordered to evacuate.
Staying at PD...

Update 0710 24 May: RDML Breckenridge is on scene, and reports the fire is out and confirms that two Ship's Force were among the 7 injuries. Here is his statement:
"Late yesterday afternoon, USS MIAMI experienced a fire in the submarine's forward compartment.
"Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Fire Department and Ship's force, along with mutual assistance from several other area fire departments, immediately responded and successfully extinguished the fire on USS MIAMI. I repeat, the fire is out.
"The fire and subsequent damage was limited to the forward compartment spaces only which includes crew living and command and control spaces. The nuclear propulsion spaces were physically isolated from the Forward Compartment early during initial response.
"The ship's reactor has been shut down for over 2 months and remained in a safe and stable condition throughout the event. The propulsion spaces remained habitable and were continuously manned through the night.
"There were no weapons on board in the torpedo room. The fire spread to spaces within the submarine that were difficult to access. The heat and smoke contained in these confined spaces made it challenging for fire-fighters to combat the blaze.
"I want to emphasize that the heroic actions of the firefighting teams averted what could have been a much more severe situation. As a result of their quick and effective response, the fire was contained and brought under control.
"We greatly appreciate the strong support received from our state and local partners who assisted us throughout this event.
"All of USS MIAMI's crew and the personnel supporting work and recovery efforts on the submarine are accounted for.
"Seven people were injured during the fire-fighting response. However, their injuries were minor in nature. The injured personnel included three Portsmouth Naval Shipyard fire-fighters; two ships force crew members; and two civilian fire-fighters providing support. These personnel were either treated on-scene or transported to a local medical facility for further treatment and all have been released. So all injured personnel have been released and are in good shape. There were no casualties in this fire.
"Again, the response of the shipyard and the community fire-fighters has been exceptional. Their efforts clearly minimized the severity of the event. They immediately took actions to stabilize the situation, protect the public, and limit the impact to the environment.
"So we are now moving forward with recovery actions. The shipyard remains open for normal business and the workforce will report to work as scheduled. A full investigation has begun to determine the cause of the fire. We will continue to provide updates later today as more information becomes available. For now I need to get back to my responsibilities in the command center."
Sounds like this was a very serious fire.

Update 1645 24 May: Word on the street is 5' of water in the various FC bilges, 60% of the forward compartment "trashed". With that much water, let's hope the watertight seal for the battery well hatch held.

Update 2232 24 May: Here's a good summary of the events of the last day or so from the local news website.

Update 1715 26 May: The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Facebook page has a short video of the Miami in drydock shot after the fire was out on Thursday. And here's a piece from the Washington Post that discusses (in general terms) the issue of whether or not they'll attempt to repair the boat.

Update 2037 30 May: Here's an AP discussion on issues surrounding possible scrapping of the boat. And here's a message that got sent out forcewide about pictures from the boat:
After a walk-through of the MIAMI, it is clear that the interior of the ship is in a state where normal declassification of pictures and other images is not possible - they simply can't do that properly.
Now that inspections are underway, under NO circumstances should any photos be sent on the UNCLASS network. Minimum classification is Confidential and should only be forwarded by SIPRNET or NR WAN. No exceptions without relief from a higher authority.
Please ensure this gets wide dissemination.
As a result, any link to pictures purported to show the interior of the boat will be deleted from the comments.

Update 1600 31 May: Word on the street is that the cause of the fire may have been something hot getting sucked up into a vacuum by a shipyard worker, which was then left on the boat at the end of the shift.

Update 0851 07 June: Here's an official release that confirms the rumor above, and puts the initial estimate of repair costs at $400 million.


Blogger Gary said...

Oh, I don't know about that, fire on a Minesweeper is pretty scary, they are made of wood you now!

5/23/2012 8:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had smoke coming from the louvers from the RPCP one night when I was SDO in the yards. Now, it's certainly not scary like having a full blown fire, but there's nothing quite like smoke from the RPCP to make you initially think you don't know near enough about rx instrumentation...

5/23/2012 8:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came off the EOOW watch one night at midnight while on an ICE-X. After grabbing some mid rats, I wandered up to the control room where the Navigator was the OOD. He asked me if I would relieve him for a quick head break. I said: "sure". (He was the Senior Watch Officer....). He gave me a four second turnover and disappeared down the ladder toward the head.

About 10 seconds later the AMR2UL watch reported a fire.

Holy S!!!! This isn't any flipping drill.

About the time we got the masks on and made our clearing turns the fire was reported out. (The AMR2UL watch had trouble with an O2 candle and called away the fire).

After everything got taken care of, the Navigator reappeared (along with CO/XO/etc).

Nice timing!

5/23/2012 8:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What concerns me most is that the crew were not able to put the fire out quickly; some reports list the fire burning for a time span of over 3 hours. Drydock usually means fire main down with temporary hoses topside--- if this is true then the crew had to leave the FWD compartment, go topside, and fight black smoke on the way back down (I'm assuming fire extinguishers were continuously applied as much as feasible prior to hose team response) No EAB hose is that long, and donning FFE's/SCBA's first would significantly lengthen the response time.

Does this mean we'll be seeing temp hoses below decks when the fire main is taken down? I hope so. I've always thought the topside hoses were a band-aid at best. My boat has them rigged as I type this, and we've trained the duty sections, but the time/distance math for getting hoses on scene vs. how fast a fire can spread is scary.

I know the CO of that ship-- I hope him and his crew made it through this ok.

5/23/2012 8:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have word from people on board that the fire is still smoldering because its burning in the insulation. It appears to have been caused by welding.

5/23/2012 8:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing but dryer fires that get put out quickly. I do remembrances getting violently thrown out of the way by overzealous forward guys responding to the wrong scene as ERUL during drills. So much for securing fans.

5/23/2012 8:56 PM

Blogger Mike Golch said...

a question if I may being a dumb landlobber,what is an RPCP??

5/23/2012 9:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the powers that be will continue to resist hoses below decks in the yards because of the lessons learned from the Guitarro incident. Even if axes are stationed at the hatches, I'm not sure they will permit the hatches to be fouled.

5/23/2012 9:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, I've known some qualified non nucs who didn't know what the RPCP is, so don't feel bad. It's the reactor plant control panel.

5/23/2012 9:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever tried to use an ax to cut a hose or cable? Doesn't work too well. It isn't intended for that purpose. Keep a good sturdy knife on hand, or a pair of bolt cutters. One of my COs practically laughed at the idea of an ax for unfouling a hatch.

5/23/2012 9:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the DCPO on a Saturday afternoon in San Diego aboard the USS Chicago. I have "this feeling" and make my way up to the control.

As I enter, I hear someone yelling smoke, fire and then hear the collision alarm!? I see a little smoke coming from the overhead as the alarm stops, followed by the words "fire in control" from a STS3(SU) and a FT3(SU) getting ready to unload a CO2 bottle.

I tell him to stop, I reach up and pull two wires from the VHF marine band radio that is sparking. I walk over and grab the 1MC from STS3 and announce "Fire is out and smoke is disapating, there is no collision or flooding, reflash watch is stationed, the Duty Chief is the man in Charge, secure from fire, restow all damage control equipment" followed by "duty section muster in control for training".

Needless to say, we had training on casualty reporting.

Jim C.
Retired ANAV

Ps. Hope the Miami crew and firefighters have success and the injuries are minor.

5/23/2012 9:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was CAT EOOW on Bremerton in early 2000s. Fire in a VERY IMPORTANT BREAKER. Made more so by the fact that we were running a drill and had just turned off the other side.

Its a damn good thing we had a very experienced EO, who crossconnected as soon as he heard the fire called away . . .

Can anyone say no more AC?

5/23/2012 9:47 PM

Anonymous Johnnuke said...

Just read the voice report from the NR bridge circuit. Fire started inTR. it is out in CLL and FCML but continues to burn in FCUL. The COB is reported in the wardroom putting out hotspots. NAVfell through an open hatch but has been evacuated from the ship. SS air had been lost and maneuvering is in Scott air packs. SS hydraulics reported blown out. As of 1118 the fire continues to burn in FCUL.

5/23/2012 9:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parts Locker.... Coming soon!

5/23/2012 9:56 PM

Anonymous Stsc said...

If the Miami was doing the ARCI upgrade, the cutting and welding involved up forward is very extensive. We had several near misses with fires (the brown blankets smoldering) during DMP and we were ultra careful (to the point where the year birds were really bitching) but we made it through in one piece. At least one time the SY supplied fire watches were looking at the wrong bulkhead in middle level and had to be corrected by S/F. Those sparks can go far and it doesn't take much.

I hope the crew and the injured firemen will all be okay.

5/23/2012 9:56 PM

Anonymous johnnuke said...

CLL should read FCLL. Stupid iPad. Lots of other info on the voice report but suffice to say it sounds very, very bad for the interior of the ship.

5/23/2012 9:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was EDO U/I, and the SDO was singled up. Aft Shore Power joy blew up in the trunk at midnight. Fire was out quickly, and SDO stayed forward to make calls. He told me to supervise the shift to DGLU. I said I wasn't qualified; he said I was close enough. This was before the SEO became mandatory. SRO could have run the show all by himself anyway. We had an awesome crew.

5/23/2012 10:11 PM

Anonymous MM1/SS said...

If the welding comment is true, it seems like possibly the fire watch wasn't quite alert.

In any case, I hope they can get through this mess ok. With that much damage, the repairs will cycle the crew harder than the fire.

I had an interesting time responding to a fire in the reactor compartment on Florida in 2003. Welding/cutting caused that one too. Different shipyard, but similar result.


5/23/2012 10:24 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Yup, dryer fire caused by a toothpick that fell out of a poopie suit pocket and landed on the dryer heating coil. Even cleaning the filters after every load didn't stop the fwd compartment from filling up with smoke...pretty scary.

5/23/2012 10:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a wife of a sailor on the ship and no sailors were injured. Last I saw at 1130 PM the fire was still burning.

5/23/2012 10:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long long ago in the Pacific far far away, on the SSN 639, submerged, a long way from anywhere... I was the DCA and one night at midrats, post movie from the wardroom we hear a muffled "firr, firrr" from the crews mess. The Engineer opens the pantry door and sticks his head out and we see an orange glow reflected in the CRESS of the door, and he quick slams the door shut turns to face us and with his eyes as big as silver dollars says "thurs a hell of a fire out there!!!" about that time the alarm sounds and the 1MC says "FIRE FIRE, FIRE IN THE CREWS MESS" and we all scramble for the EABs. I head for the torpedo room and the fire hose (DCA, my job) and about the time I get the hose team and the hose up the back ladder, one of the RO's is reporting the fire out, holding the empty pan that held the water he used to extinguish the fire. (Buckley, if you are out there you were damn lucky...)
Turns out one of my guys had been collecting O2 Candle dust for a few days and put that dust along with bags of hydraulic oil from leaks and some general paper and trash in the trash compactor. When they mashed the trash, the whole thing took off like a rocket motor, with flames up into the overhead in the TDU room (just off the crews mess in a 637. Fortunatly the flames backed off when they took the pressure off, nobody was hurt and we got back to normal in an hour or so after the lethal concentrations of CO were removed by ventilating. (I checked on the CAMS- my job.)
Potentially bad, a long way from help, handled by good training and a fearless but crazy RO.

5/23/2012 10:47 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I called a fire on a sub once when a 8k dischage to outside pump caught fire. I went into the compartment and couldn't see a thing with the ssmoke. We emediately came to the surface.

I think this is $200 Million dollars of damage...if not scrap.

5/23/2012 11:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the photos I saw the ship is in drydock so the concern about fouling hatches is a moot point.

I was on a boat drydocked in a shipyard and the shipyard firewatch for the hull heaters decided to take off.

It turns out it can be damned hard to put a fire out once it gets into the insulation and it gets really hot! The hull cut got much larger in order to replace damaged hull steel. Not to mention all the cables and piping.

I will also mention that it is really hard for the crew to fight it once it starts as probably is going to need a lot of water on the fire and on the hull.

Glad to hear that the crew appears to be OK!!!!

Old Chief from the dark ages

5/23/2012 11:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Singled SDO went forward to make phone calls while the boat was still recovering from a that is some stupid shit.

Guess it didn't occur to him that a UI is more qualified to make phone calls than to supervise electric plant shifts! And if the UI isn't even qualified for that, then the captain can wait 5 minutes to get a report!

5/23/2012 11:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad of this update Hannah. My prayers for crew , families & firefighters.

5/23/2012 11:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is holy crap and I'm glad that everyone is ok.
Another 639 story. Stopping in Point Loma while repositioning to Pearl after overhaul in 1990. E-div is down tightening buswork in the battery well when the call comes out "fire in the battery well". Someone vaporized the socket on a wrench when they dropped it across some buswork. Scary, but things turned out ok.

5/24/2012 12:11 AM

Blogger Allen Thacker said...

USS Santa Fe, Aug. 2008 at periscope depth. Snorkel mast didn't shut when we started to sink out so flooding in the fan room. Once we finally got that taken care of, water drained from the fan room into crew's mess and AMR, causing a lot of damage. Wetted controllers in the fan room shorted out from the seawater so fire in the fan Room. We were just a few miles off the coast of Hawaii and the CO wanted to keep us out to sea but thankfully they made us come in the next morning.

5/24/2012 12:25 AM

Blogger gunnergoz said...

Not a submariner myself so don't know but am curious: do they actually let civilian firefighters into the boat in a case like this? Or do they have the crew fight the fire with the civilians on deck and pierside, in support?

5/24/2012 12:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a shyt storm on the Miami in '91. Blew san 1 to san 3 DRY. Had shyt from the port tube nest to the trim pump and the entire outboard.
Does not sound good for the boat, she has been a great one since we commissioned in '91. Best of luck to the crew, her EOH just got started, and just got extended.
San Fran, we had a fire in 1S 1 day out from a month in Pearl and trying to go home. Dumped 7 extinguishers into it before the hose from FCML arrived. Stopped before we opened up the hose and assessed that only capacitor oil was left smoking. We held off sending the oprep until the international dateline and then proceeded home on the port switchboards only. SQDN Eng didn't
even bitch about it. He was the one I was tossing co2's two from the middle of the tunnel, he was at the stbd SSMG throwing them to the EWS. Not a one of was in EABS we responded so fast.


5/24/2012 1:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

with a fire buring that long I would suspect that the hull insulation has caught on fire. If this is the case there is no telling where it has gone up fwd. this will have a massive affect on the Submarine Maintenance community.

5/24/2012 1:02 AM

Anonymous 3383 said...

Fire avoided- 2 contractors were welding in an area where paint had previously caught fire. When lunch came, the welder stopped, and BOTH headed outside. I was lucky enough to see this and sent them back PDQ

5/24/2012 2:29 AM

Anonymous 3383 said...

D'oh! If it needs saying- the welder and his FIRE WATCH were the two contractors....

5/24/2012 2:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out in Pearl in a CMAV, and we got word a few hours ago that all hotwork in government yards has been secured until further notice. Looks like we aren't going to make it to sea when we thought we would. Damn, we really need to break suction from the pier too. Life at sea is certainly better than the last couple of months in port.

5/24/2012 2:35 AM

Blogger dark cloud said...

why hasn't vigilis told us the fire was caused by women in submarines? as part of some conspiracy?

But seriously. A fire burning for hours in the forward compartment? This is going to make the GW fire look small in comparison.

5/24/2012 3:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was onboard Miami from 2005-2010. Due to the rapid turnover of the crew there are few people on board that I still know, but I'm glad everyone is alive. It's crazy to hear about... This is one of those fires that, had it reached this level in a drill, they would have made us reset and start over, but not before the XO or CO got on the 1MC and Shit on us about losing the ship. The idea of losing a sailor is horrible but to lose them to a casualty on board in drydock is worse.

5/24/2012 3:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fire is out

5/24/2012 3:15 AM

Blogger FT2(ss) said...

On one of our visits to San Diego I remember a heater fire in the torpedo room of a sub parked outboard of the boat across the pier from us. Before the other topside watch new what was happening out primary nifti was across his brow and onto the outboard ship. We had hoses op and on the pier rather quickly.

At this point we see the fire trucks driving onto base, Somehow they got lost trying ot get to our pier and tried to do a u turn. This caused a jam on the road as other fire trucks were trying to get to our pier. Now they finally get down to the lower base and fly down the wrong pier... From the loud speaker of the big surface ship they announce "YOU'RE ON THE WRONG PIER".

So the fire trucks finally get to the correct pier as the other boat is securing from the fire and we are stowing our DC gear.

The only other good fire story was at subschool when the transformers blew behind the school building near the smoke pit. The Sonar techs ran away as we calmly informed the instructor on duty of what happened.

5/24/2012 3:26 AM

Blogger Contributor said...

Your pick:
1. Short in a precipitator in the fanroom melts rubbery insulation, and fills the boat with fumes. Spent 20 minutes trying to locate the hotspot alone.
2. Bus Bars in a main switch board were mistakenly insulated, with all the current passing through the retaining bolt. When the bolt finally gave we, the switchboard was sparking.
3. While prepping for a butt crack of dawn underway, a Shore Power breaker decides to catch fire as we are staring up the Rx. Electric plant shifted in seconds, while the duty section scrambled to control the fire.

5/24/2012 4:38 AM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

OPREP-3 pretty much backs up the NR Bridge Voice Report posted earlier...except that the hard-copy mentions that, of the seven injured, two are sailors. Waiting for the CSL Morning Flag Brief to be posted on the high-side to confirm that and other snippets. My/Our best to the crew, yard bubbas and their families.

5/24/2012 4:55 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I wonder how this fits into the this the worst fire on a nuclear submarine ever?

Excluding the Thresher and Scorpion.

Fire in torpedo room, command and control and crews quarters. No weapons onboard.

5/24/2012 5:01 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Burning for 10 hours.

5/24/2012 5:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw four fires in my day.
- Weld slag dripping onto lube oil soaked lagging/insulation. Fire watch was able to put it out.
- A big breaker decided to disintegrate while submerged and halfway across the Atlantic. Lots of smoke.
- A motor stator shorted and burned (lots of smoke).
- Some twat threw away a half lit cigarette butt into the ERUL trash can. I put it out with a cup of coffee.

Feeling for the guys stuck in MNVG.

5/24/2012 5:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

MM were you on the 616?

5/24/2012 5:21 AM

Anonymous Tim McFeely said...

It says 'non-essential personnel' evacuated. Who is non-essential in a fire like this?

5/24/2012 5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyne who is not part of the crew or civilian firefighters are "non essential" ie all shipyard workers

5/24/2012 6:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubblehead, might want to check the hull number. Believe the USS Maine is a boomer SSBN 741.

5/24/2012 6:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw two fires while in the submarine service - one on MTS 635 when I was staff and the second on SSN 751. Both were caused by human error. The 635 was an improper tagout - power was shunted to a transformer in the ESF DG space and it didn't like being fed something different. I was coughing up a lung for half a day due to the nasty smoke. On the 751, someone tried to change a peanut bulb in the RPCP with their fingers - bulb fell into the panel and shorted 450 to 115 (I had to fish it out with a wooden stick. ADP's didn't like it at all - two of them caught fire.

PB Sterling

5/24/2012 6:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As SDO one evening we smelled smoke in the ventilation system. The worst was in the dry stores paceenerAfter unloading most of the stores were found a broken bottle of liquid smoke used to flavor the food.

5/24/2012 6:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad no one was seriously injured in this fire. I am sure if it is like any other boat in the shipyard, they only focus on the cleaning back aft and not the forward compartment. To ensure that the 4 star is happy with the cleaniness of his engineroom. It never fails in the shipyard when everyone goes home for the day is when the casualty happens. Being a former COB in the shipyard, we always had our quarterly fire drill in the morning when everyone was at work. Never practicing or having the inspeced fire drill when it is only a duty section basis. Thank God that no one was killed during this. Prayers to the crew of the Miami. They have now been extended for 10-15 more months. This will be awesome when they go back to sea with a green crew of only less than 15% of the crew who have taken a boat to sea.

5/24/2012 6:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone seen the CO/XO board results? official or unofficial?

5/24/2012 6:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

USS TROUT (SS-566) Fire in fwd ac board in Control Room while at test depth in rough seas to handle astors in Feb. 69. Evacuating Control at test depth is kinda frightening. We survived.


5/24/2012 6:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where was the Safety (Below Decks) watch? Did he not check the welders, to make sure the proper containment was set up. Was there a fire watch? Does anyone know how the fire started. How long has the Miami been in Drydock? This will cost the taxpayer a lot of money to repair!!! Maybe we can take the Memphis FWD Compartment and give it to the Miami.

5/24/2012 7:02 AM

Anonymous LT L said...

Statement from SOMSUBGRU 2 ten minutes ago: big news is that everyone who went to the hospital is OK and back home.

– LT L

5/24/2012 7:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reactor plant control panel

5/24/2012 7:12 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Anonymous @0611 -- Indeed, USS Maine is SSBN 741. However, this post is about USS Miami.

5/24/2012 7:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might not be worth repairing, but I don't think they can scrap a sub at Portsmouth.

5/24/2012 7:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just wondering that with another prior service and current shipyard pal this morning. There are quite a few fires on sub's that if memory serves were pretty bad but how many of those were in drydock? Its good no one was severely hurt but now the aftermath will set in. Doesn't matter why or how it started, it will cost millions to repair and lots of people's jobs will get axed as a result

5/24/2012 7:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SSBN 741 in refit. After field day, fire in AMR2UL. A section of DC swbd had been retired in place. E-Div used upper cabinet as an extra stowage locker. EM3 was told to re-stow cleaning gear 'in the DC swbd'. He put it in the LOWER cabinet, which had exposed, energized stabs in the back.

A short time later, a bilge picker shorts across the stabs, vaporizes, and ignites chemwipes. Fire was put out with several squirts of Simple Green.

Where was EM3 during the casualty? He was up at the Bancroft Memorial, smiling for a photo with the CO, his new stripe, and a big re-enlistment check. He got his YFG when he returned to the ship.

5/24/2012 7:47 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Probably the worst fire on a nuc that returned to service was the oxygen fire on SARGO in the sixties. The stern room was flooded to but the fire out. The BONEFISH battery fire that led to her scrapping is another very serious fire, this one with fatalities. I wonder if MIAMI will have to have some new hull patches due to hull warping by the heat generated by the fire.

5/24/2012 8:31 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

That should be "put the fire out"

5/24/2012 8:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrapping up a TRE on the 672-fish, with inspection team writing comments in the WR and crew chowing down on pizza in the crew's mess, when the FSA decided to compact a left-over O2 candle igniter. True to its purpose, it ignited the trash surrounding it and we had an "extra" fire drill for the TRE team to evaluate! Nothing like another chance to excel...

5/24/2012 8:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the most serious fires on an operational nuclear submarine was on the USS Greenling in the early 1980's. It's what led us to start training with visibilty impairment.

5/24/2012 8:36 AM

Blogger Jon said...

CGN, mid-90's: Reactor was shutdown, #2 plant was solid for maintenance, and I was standing Heise gauge. Shore power disconnect in #2 plant decides to up and fry itself, resulting in a nice fireball in the switchgear and all the lights on the ship going out. Probably the scariest moment for me, since I was down in ERLL watching that gauge and didn't know what had happened except for the sound of the exploding switchgear in ERUL.

I was giving out reports on gauge status like crazy when that happened, but it didn't really budge.

RE div got thrown into 3 section rotation for the next month (8 hours on, 16 off, no days off)

The only other fire I experienced while I was on the ship was on a cruise from PSNS to San Diego when they called away a lube oil rupture in #1 EDG. Lube oil was spraying everywhere down there, but hadn't caught yet. The ship responded with so much AFFF that the passageway from #1 EDG to the mess decks was completely lined with AFFF canisters... more than I thought actually existed on the ship. Fortunately we didn't have to use any of them, and they stopped the rupture before any actual fire started.

5/24/2012 8:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reactor Plant Control Panel

5/24/2012 9:30 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...


5/24/2012 9:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonefish came very close to losing the whole boat at sea in her Battery fire. I don't recall all the details, but it burned for a long time, and abandon ship was not far away... I recall reading the safteygram message and wondering how the heck they managed to save her..

5/24/2012 9:45 AM

Anonymous 610ET said...

5/24/2012 10:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several, several years ago when the Marino G Vallejo was doing an ERP in the floating drydock in Kings Bay, the top side watch sees smoke pouring out of the forward main ballast tank vents and calls away fire. Duty Officer rushes topside and orders fire hoses be directed into the vents. Turns out is was some shipyard bubbas who were doing welding inside the ballast tanks without permission. Thankfully no one was hurt and those guys sure learned a lesson the hard way.

5/24/2012 10:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RPCP = Reactor Plant Control Panel

Maybe it is time we NAVY start getting serious about what a fire on a boat will really mean... We were again fortunate as there were only minor injuries again... Guatarro, Bonefish, Dolphin are just a few. Halon Systems, insulation that does not burn would be a start... Additing the pressure component to a 5Hr fire this boat would have been in deep $heet if she was operational...and had weapons on board to deal with as well. It should not take a Scorpian type event for us to read the writing and project probabilities... If My Navy has one take away, it should be what we are doing doesn't work for this type of casualty...

5/24/2012 11:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought it was idiotic to have responding crewmembers don FFE's prior to going to the scene. Because of design flaws if you don't have the fire out on a submarine within the first three minutes, you're never going to put it out. She'll reflash when they open her up.


5/24/2012 11:14 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Thankfully, only minor injuries reported.

Repair or scrap? Among the oldest 688Is SSN-775has been commissioned since mid 1990 (22 years). Bonefish (SS-582) experienced a much more tragic fire in terms of crew lives lost (3), early in her 30th year in commission. She was decommissioned 5 months later.

Fire damaged Miami (commissioned about 12 years) could be repaired, but that appears more unlikely in view of the current austerity environment. By the time forward equipment suites etc were repaired her current overhaul would have cost not only 100s of millions more dollars but years of extra time (18 months minimum).

If written off, however, her propulsion plant could save dollars as a parts inventory, and the dollar savings could be applied to accelerate a new Virginia or to upgrade an existing boat or two.

Let's see what the Admirals and Mabus decide and whether government (shipyard) or crew or both are held accountable, which would be the case even if Putin had an infiltrator planted to start the fire after his Yekaterinburg submarine fire debacle last year.

Submarines are ALWAYS silent and strange.

5/24/2012 12:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sea stories!! Cool!!!

I remember one day as Duty Officer during decommissioning of an SSN (former SSBN) in 1991 - I was in the trailer that was along the wing wall of the dry dock where the duty officer slept (since we couldn't be as far away as the crew's barge during certain plant conditions. The topside wath banged on the trailer door yelling "fire, fire". I opened the door and all I saw was billowing black smoke coming out of the forward escape hatch. We're talking the thick, opaque black stuff...not the whit wispy stuff you see from the little electrical fires (which were commonplace during the last year of the ship's life). I donned an OBA while racing across the brow, emerging into the space to find the source of the fire. As I descended into the hatch, there was less and less smoke, once I was into the boat, the air was completely clear!

I was me after about 3 steps by a below-decks watch with a quimsical look on his face - everything was just fine below decks and he's wondering why I'm running around in an OBA sounding alarms. It was a very confused few seconds before I looked back up the hatch and saw that the smoke was billowing out of the MBT vents just forward of the hatch. It was so heavy and thick that it was impossible to tell where it was coming from....

A SY worker was working in the MBT when his torch ignited some cables, his fire watch was unable to extinguish it, so the two of them had scurried out the bottom of the tank. No one topside could tell what was going on until we got into the smoke and saw where it was coming from. A quick squirt into the tank from the vent and the fire was easily extinguished....but I DID get to actually light off an OBA, without a training cannister...yipee...

5/24/2012 12:11 PM

Anonymous Johnnuke said...

ELK, the current practice is to have a rapid response team (select watchstanders) got straight to the scene with EAB's and CO2 extinguishers (no FFEs). They apply CO2, don the EABs, and start fighting the fire with a charged hose (or better yet, a reel) that other designated crewmembers bring them. In drills we could usually have 2-4 CO2's AND a hose on the fire in well under 3 minutes. The FFE guys arrive when they are dressed out and relieve at the scene and also on a hose above or below as directed by the XO. The 2 fires I experienced while XO (dryer and small swbd) were both out in less than a minute and there was way more FF agent available at the scene than needed. That being said....

This plan works well when the trim system is up and you can get to the hoses and CO2's. As we all know, this may or may not be the case in an overhaul. I never did trust having all the only hoses topside.

5/24/2012 12:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use to be on that boat. I remember when it was at EB...the workers told me that this sub shouldn't even be out to sea. I talked with someone that was there. There's a whole story that hasn't come out yet. Wait and see...I'm already writing a book on the military. Just another story to write about. Hopefully this changes everything. There are many problems in how politics work in the military. Someone needs to stand up.

5/24/2012 12:22 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Go expensive and wastefull green bio-fuels at $26 per gallon!

5/24/2012 12:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Below Decks was topside doing a watch turn over

5/24/2012 12:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 12:22...

I was an officer on that boat during the same period that you were there and I can honestly say that you are seriously mistaken on what you and a bunch of ship yard "bubbas" were talking about.

I would not put much stake in what a bunch of high school graduate welders, craftsmen, and painters are saying. I appreciate everything that those guys do for the submarines and their crew but they are not engineers. They do not make recommendations on the sea worthiness of a submarine. They are not sources of authority on submarine operations.

Just a couple of thoughts for you. Tread lightly

5/24/2012 12:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the forward area needs to be rebuilt anyway, now would be an opportune time to reconfigure the berthing are to bring on females. No more lack of privacy issues.

5/24/2012 1:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would be area.

5/24/2012 1:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 12:47...don't try to threaten me. I'm not in the military anymore. You can't blackmail me like the military did when I was in. I'm in the real world now. The workers I talked with been there for more than 20 years. I'm sure it was safe enough to go out to sea. It just made the job more stressful knowing that the boat was used and abused mission after mission to get the most out of it. Gets you thinking. But I "could" be mistaken...BUT...SO COULD YOU...anyways...thankfully no one died

5/24/2012 1:13 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Is this the end of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard?

We were discussing the root cause analysis of the USS Essex yesterday May 22 and yesterday mourning. The change out of ships and then the recent collision:

..."This fatality accident occurring on the USS Essex late last year is the same ship that collided with the Yukon Tanker a few days ago"

This was my response to it from my point of view 6 hours before the USS Miami submarine fire:

"Hmm, you know my opinion, "all" priorities and budgets (limitation on real resource needs) are immoral.

It is not like cutting off one arm on a person; oh, he has only got 75% of his limbs and we made his life more simplified and easy. It is like adding the third arm of complexity on a individual that overwhelms him. We then blind him as a added insult with incentives to get the job done.

Budgets and priorities extremely ramp up complexity...most of the time our estimates of the new complexity is way off.

I'd take the Obama Navy way over the Bush Navy. We have way less silly ship collision, reef stranding and huge aircraft carrier fires than the Bush years. We had a relative good three years with the navy. It seems to me the Navy is real serious about a culture of Honor...truth telling and honesty.

Poorly estimated complexity always falls on the poorest and most vulnerable person!"


...And this was what I was thinking about with our national problem Post Iraq and Afghanistan, when we eventually had to face up to our budget problems for political purposes in 2007. Another post Vietnam war military hollowing out of the Navy. I was there.

Actually, this discussion began in a message board about what happened to the USS Scorpion with a host of active and retired senior Navy officals...when i began worrying about the Navy fleet in general then. It is always about a 'Bridge Too Far' and budget limitations.

"A submarine and aircraft carrier metaphor…USS Hampton, Enterprise and Midway…." course, the GW was brewing into serious fire event in about another year in 2008.

You now need a little humor seeing me in a video now. Think a metaphor of fractured communications.

A dilapidated 1920's bridge that irks me(10,000 vehicles per day):

" the Factual scientific Facts :)?"

5/24/2012 1:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh. I don't see any threats in his post at all. he was pointing out that you were putting too much faith in to the people work putting the pieces together. where you should put faith in to the people who designed the puzzle

5/24/2012 1:18 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

My eye caught that bit about the Essex and Yukon before skipping over-
but damn, watch out for the Yukon! A civilian ship in Dubai, then hit by the (allegedly showboating) USS Denver- which left half an anchor embedded in the flight deck- and now the USS Essex steering casualty.

5/24/2012 1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

USS Miami Fire: Dolphins vs Heat.

5/24/2012 1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't see threats because you didn't live what I lived thru...I'm in the slow process of fighting the military and government for falsified information and malpractice in my medical records. It goes as far as...that I assaulted a navy officer...which never happened..I'm writing a book about everything...this world will soon know what goes on behind closed the military..."hidden benefits"..the politics that ruin morale...I'm not letting false information and malpractice gone on in my life..ill fight anyone legally even the military and government...someone needs to stand up and only live once and I'm not letting the military and government push me around anymore...I'm sorry...the military and government started with me...they were both here before I was I was born into these problems...the problems are just getting worse and nobody wants to stand up for you really think I'm the first one that has had the problems that happened to me? I'm not hiding anything...What are you hiding?

5/24/2012 1:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said... please leave this blog. This blog is for people to talk about submarines and reminisce about the good ole days before our lives got boring behind a computer screen and a cubicle.

5/24/2012 1:55 PM

Blogger Ranb said...

My first fire on the 639. In port in 1984, two EM's are finishing maintenance on the aft 400 Hz MG; I am sitting aft of Maneuvering studying. I hear one EM tell the other, "Give me a few seconds to get back aft so I watch it spin up." A few seconds later I hear the words "Jesus F----!" I looked up to see an orange glow coming from the resister bank; fully ablaze. Seconds later both EM's are emptying CO2's into the cabinet and the SRO is screaming at me to get a fire hose. By the time myself and an A-ganger got the hose connected the fire was out. Turns out the MG never moved and the breaker did not trip on overload until after the resisters started on fire.

5/24/2012 2:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that the forward compartment is pretty well gutted, doesn't it seem like a good candidate for conversion to MTS?

5/24/2012 2:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the USS MIAMI may become Moored Training Ship MIAMI (MTS-755). Only question now is how much life she has remaining in the ole' reactor. Sad to see a 688I being chained to a pier in Charleston, but it could be the smart money.

5/24/2012 2:18 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

The worst I know of:

COCHINO in '49

SARGO's O2 fire.

BONEFISH (they did abandon ship)

GUDGEON galley fire in '58, deep fat fire.

GUDGEON runaway diesel in '80

5/24/2012 2:29 PM

Anonymous Cupojoe said...


I recall the Dolphin incident in 2002 being pretty bad, too

5/24/2012 2:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope..... you show better.....writing skills in your

5/24/2012 2:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are ignorant for making such bold claims about the cause without the shipyard relasing their findings. As a welder at this yard I know for a fact that the only welding job approved on that boat last night was finished well before this fire broke out and wasn't even in the area. This includes the half hour cooldown that is mandatory. A friend who was in that compartment last night has told me what he saw but I'll keep it to myself so you guys can dwell on speculation until the investigation is complete.

5/24/2012 2:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decomm- MINSY- all the toilet paper and other such stuff reported emptied out of boat. Welding sparks from control fell down one level- onto the toilet paper stored behind the washing machine. TP generates enourmous amounts of smoke when ignited, along wih the electrical insulation from the wireing behind the washer and dryer.

Late afternooon, duty section handled. When asked why we hit the boats alarms instead of SY alarms, the answer was simple. We hadn't yet been told to use the SY alarms.

5/24/2012 2:58 PM

Anonymous 3MCS(SS) said...

I am a contractor doing a preservation job on the West Virginia in NNSY. I saw the poor condition the Daniel Webster is in as it is in the DD next to me. As soon as I heard SHT was bubbling, I thought it will end up replacing one of the 2 MTS boats.

As to a fire, on Pintado I saw an elbow between the 2nd and 3rd stage of the HPAC blow out and shoot fire at the kemwipes stuffed between the workbench and the burner. Small fire, easy to put out but the flamethrower was impressive. Also had a fire in the HPAC outlet piping between the moisture separator and the air drier. Slamming air valves open and shut really do cause diesel fires. It melted the seats in 4 valves.

5/24/2012 3:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friday night, before a scheduled Monday u/w, fire in the HP air system, started in the Cuno filter. Newbie A ganger flying out to aux package course the next day found out the hard way why the ball valve draining the filter has to be opened s-l-o-w-l-y.

MM2 on his first ever solo inport DCPO handled everything properly. I missed the fire, saw the aftermath. Got u/w a few days late...

5/24/2012 3:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Miami will be a few days late getting underway too.

5/24/2012 3:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I speculate an unapproved grinding job. I have my sources on the boat as well. All unconfirmed.

Easy trigger. We are all on the same team. Shit happens. You would speculate too if you weren't directly related to the incident.

Since the ship did not have electricity, the cause of the fire was probably welding or grinding.

Don't get so huffy puffy.

5/24/2012 4:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ship'sm Force Safety Watch, at that time of day (2 months into the overhaul may have very well been one of a few remaining on the boat at the time. I was in that shipyard, schedules never change. It was chow time and the watch had most likely just turned over (1730). If he had started his round, he may have been in the area where the fire started....3 minutes earlier. he contuinues his round which is basically all over the fwd compartment and not have smelled smoke until the fire was already roaring out of control, fire and heat both go up, watchstander in FCLL taking logs in TR or AMR which is down. It only takes a minute for it to get out of control and his round takes approx 20 minutes. I can only speculate but I bet they did everything they were trained to do. They did their best. It's their home.


5/24/2012 4:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at (first) 4:12pm - even though they didn't have ship's power on the boat, they had temporary power, which can start just as much of a fire as ship's power. I mean, think about it - where do you think the power for welding and grinding comes from?

5/24/2012 4:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very True. There are a number of different things that could of started the fire. I just think that the most probably cause is grinding or welding. The reason why we have all of the safety precaution for those two evolutions is because they have started numerous fires in the past.

Fire blanket, Fire watch, fire extinguisher, SDO permission, SOSMIL, etc......

I am not placing blame on welders or grinders... shit happens no matter how many precautions you take. You can only minimize risk. Never eliminate it.

5/24/2012 5:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

USS Rhode Island 2005(maybe '06), I was the RO. Five minutes before field day started got a 4MC of a fire in ERUL. Luckily all of engineering was in the ER already so response was overwhelming. Got another 4MC a couple of minutes later to shut the starboard steam stop. Needless to say we were confused and didn't close it. Thirty seconds later our Engineer came on the 4MC and ordered it. Knowing that he was the one directing it we closed the stop. Turned out the starboard main steam header lagging had never been completely painted during construction. Couple that with a slow lube oil drip and you get fire. Shutting MS-1 to put out a fire, never ran a drill for that one.

5/24/2012 5:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been involved in a fire aboard the Springfield when we were in the yard in 04-05.. a yard worker in a ballast tank was smoking and tossed the butt into the temporary ventilation ducting and started a fire.. scary stuff. I am glad the crew and yard birds are all ok. If the reports of 1500+ degrees onboard are correct, the main concern will be the condition of the hull. If that steel has tempered, that ship will never sail again. Could be looking at immediate decommisioning.


5/24/2012 6:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

USS Bonefish had a battery fire back in the 80s crewmembers died from toxic gas not getting their EABS on fast enough. This was the nightmare our MMCS (A GANG) always reminded us about. -ET2(SS)

5/24/2012 7:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should finish the conversion and set her up as a prototype unit for the nubs on gradhold.

5/24/2012 7:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would not be a bad idea. But with budget cuts and such that will never fly. The bad part is the money for the overhaul has already been awarded to the yard and most probably already spent.. govt wont get that money back. Best case the hull is not damaged and they can go on woth the overhaul. Worst case.. hull is compromised and she will be scraped

5/24/2012 7:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also.. keep in mind there are no decommed 688i boats to take a forward compartment from.. just 688

5/24/2012 7:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1500 degrees is bs. Highest temp reported was 400 degrees topside.

5/24/2012 8:11 PM

Blogger Gospace said...

If it was reported 400 deg F topside, then it was a lot hotter below. Maybe not 1500, but hotter. Just sayin'...

5/24/2012 8:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always enjoy all of your educated "theories"... Keep em coming boys... Or... You could all just keep them to yourself and let the investigators do their job... Then we can take action to prevent this from occurring again.

5/24/2012 8:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

About it becoming a MTS, am I stupid, but aren't the third block 688i only designed for single life cores? I know they did it for BNs and the current MTS, but I thought there was something different about the last block.

5/24/2012 9:40 PM

Blogger Jim Houston said...

I got two-

First one- I'm at PD clearing the broadcast when the CO calls away battle stations (I'm senior JO on the 688 back in 1995). We end up diving at the end of battle stations and end up at 450. When we secure from BS (ha, odd abbreviation I never noticed before) I turn to the CO and mention that I hadn't cleared and, since we just left PD I'd prefer not to clear baffles and just go up and finish- he agrees. So I order a 15 up to PD.

Now, as you must know, there's two groups of individuals you absolutely must treat especially well on a sub- the cooks and the yeoman...

I may get long winded, but what the hell. I can pass a whole lot of good advice here...

I've never been one to adhere to the whole 'must be rigged for sea at all times' mantra. Nice thought when on station, but guys gotta eat, right? You can't screw the cooks 100% of the time. So if I was going to throw angles I'd give a 15 minute heads up. If some ass is going to say 'oh, they should have been rigged' then let him eat crap for a week or two...

Anyway, the cooks thought the end of BS (ha!) was it, so the 15 up caught them off guard. Next thing I know I hear 'fire in the galley, fire in the galley!' on the 4MC.

And, in a random thought sequence I thought:

a) Holy shit!

2 seconds later:

b) Didn't this happen in Crimson Tide?

Dumped cake mix- it caught fire quick. You guys know how fast smoke gets through a boat (like 10 seconds) before ventilation gets secured...

I was kissing ass for a long time after that.

Next story, next post...

5/24/2012 9:53 PM

Blogger Jim Houston said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/24/2012 10:07 PM

Blogger Jim Houston said...

OK- here's the other one- Engineer's should not be idiots...

I'm a rider in 2000- we've been on station for a long time and in the same electric plant lineup.

I'm helping the DCPO with preps for an inspection, and we're weighing fire extinguishers. Great kid- he was really proud of his gear. We had a CO2 hanging off the padeye on the aft escape trunk when the EOOW announced 'shifting to No. 1 main feed pump'. At which point the breaker blew up about 6 feet away from me.

So I grab the 4MC and call it away (remember, think before you talk) and the ship responds in kind (real shit is always quicker than drills) and next thing you know people are everywhere, concerned mostly because a hell of a lot of the O2 candles are behind the switchboard that is currently on fire.

So the fire gets extinguished. I felt for the poor kid who had just taken me through all of the CO2s on board, because I looked down at the expansive collection of used extinguishers laying around the horseshoe and all I could think to say was "man, your fire extinguishers are pretty screwed up..."

To the point- after the fact the Eng, when queried on his opinion of the fire, concluded that "that's what happens when you don't use the breaker for a long time"...

That was one of the stupidest statements I've heard from a nuclear trained individual in my entire career...

5/24/2012 10:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever the cause, its a sad day for the submarine force and for a shipyard that was working hard to get better. Regardless of anyone's opinions of shipyarders at PNS & elsewhere, I personally know folks who work their asses off at that yard and deserve better than the kick in the stomach this incident must be. And the crew on the 755 deserve better too...

Now the nation has 1 of its 50-some remaining fast attacks tits-up till we can figure out if its recoverable. If it is, I'm sure it'll cost mondo-bucks.

Unlike the 711, where most of the "salvage" work was mechanical to connect the Hono's bow, the biggest cost driver could be replacing the cabling (power, electronics, & other). Or as another said, the heat effects on the structure.

5/24/2012 10:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Jim Huston

DCPO was a "kid"?

What were you, 10+ years older?

Kind of impressed with yourself are'nt you.

5/24/2012 11:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Miami 2001 (3 months before 9/11) until 2005. On our way to PEV, running high chlorides, and when we tried to recover from the drill, TG breaker crapped out. Scrapped rest of the drill set, and when E-Div went to trouble shoot they shut the breaker before racking out. Smoke was seen, and stupid ass elecitrical officer (yes the Electrical officer) called the fire away in the wrong breaker, which was in ERML. EO took proper actions, but we were 1s/1s, not cross-connected power supplies and switching from DC to AC PLO. Needless to say teh aftermath of the drills was much worse. Fire, Scram, Loss of PLO, Loss or port buses, steaming an idle loop. What was worse is because of the scram and not being able to get the diesel up, we were without air conditioning for a long time.

5/24/2012 11:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the guy that got his feelings hurt, and is going to go all Harris and Klebold on the military, little tid bit that might be helpful. EB sand crabs hate the 755. It is a scab boat, and they guys that have been there for 30 years still resent it.

5/24/2012 11:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 12:22... I've got my picture in the commissioning crew book, do you? It's sitting in my desk right now.
At: 5/24/2012 11:23 PM Yep, we were a scab boat. They were so pissed they didn't have time to do more damage to us before we escaped the yard. Asheville was way more fockered up.
The only issue we had on alpha trials was farking mbt5A vents only partially opening on the initial dive. So we recovered and then resumed after we fixed the vent operator. A and IC div started wearing stanke hoods on the belts just to piss off the sand crabs for the rest of the trials, we were pissed. Damn that
girl was fast without SHT.......

Miami 88-92.

5/25/2012 12:38 AM

Blogger The Motivation Group said...

I remember the Bonefish fire, a kid from my high school died in the yeoman shack, no EAB!
I was the first of four submariners from that school, all fast boats except guy on Bonefish. I retired in 1993 from USS Olympia as STSC, survived 2 shipyard fires, both in Norfolk Naval Ship Yard.
It takes water or foam to put out shipyard fires, class alpha smolder.
Shipyard teams dumped about a ton of CO2 on fire, the. Brought in water because fire was in outboard locker with paper residue.

5/25/2012 1:12 AM

Blogger The Motivation Group said...

Not sure how this rates overall. I recall 2 bad fires. One in San Diego in late 1950s on a diesel boat, the O2 tank caught fire and the boat had to be submerged pierside to put out O2 fire!
Second, I was on USS Sversides in 70s, the COB told of fire on older Nuke, he says he was hose man on fire in torpedo room with weapons at sea.
Said fire raged for hours. But no explosions or fatalities, said water turned to steam when sprayed on torpedoes! Fire started in Battery Compartment.
These probably most extreme I heard about in 20 years sub service!

5/25/2012 1:29 AM

Blogger John Byron said...


5/25/2012 3:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they don't wanna fix her, she would make a good afloat training vessel for Prototype.

5/25/2012 5:29 AM

Anonymous Scott Minton said...

I was on board the USS Guitarro SSN-665 when we had a battery fire in the summer of 1984! WRT tank blew out a common wall with the battery well and flooded it with sea water. Sea water and battery acid makes some bad shit, chlorine gas, hydrogen gas and lots of fire. We had fire hoses in the front and aft of the torpedoe room keeping the weapons cool, but you could only stay on the fire nozzle for about 30 seconds before your boots started melting to the floor. The little white tiles on the floor shriveled up into small black hockey pucks, and all the paint on the bottom rack of torpedoes burned off. It was a nightmare for almost three days. EABs 24/7 for almost two days. FIRE ALARM, SHIP TAKING ON WATER, EMERGENCY BLOW, DON EABs, fellow war game ships escorted us back to San Diego. I remember every bit of it!

5/25/2012 6:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of you seem to be hinting or insinuating that the fire may have been caused by sabotage in the shipyard by union workers.

5/25/2012 7:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...the fire may have been caused by sabotage in the shipyard by union workers.

I heard it was started by local tea party members.

5/25/2012 8:01 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

So you really mean, the NH senate and house members?

No, us Union members only sabotage (trip) nuclear power plants in a approaching strike(Pilgrim).

5/25/2012 10:34 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

So you know the voluntary participation in OHSA health, safety and fire regulations is in play.

They say the non existent full throttled OHSA oversight keeping the shipyard on it toes is going to be direct factor in the fire.

5/25/2012 10:49 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

They say the non existent full throated OHSA oversight...

Rumors at the bars in Portsmouth say al Queda destroyed a United States fast attack nuclear submarine. That is the chatter on the internet.

How about a new thrust with the Yemen al Queda...a somali undocumented or falsified shipyard underwear incendiary bomber painter, cleaner or trash can emptier?

5/25/2012 11:03 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

USS Iowa turret explosion

Considering the history of the US Navy gaming investigations, I request a professional out side the Navy investigation of this incident.

I request the Navy head of the shipyard be removed from his duties until the investigation is completed.

5/25/2012 11:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Mulligan.....

Do you have any connection with submarines or the Navy?........

5/25/2012 11:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A barber here in Groton thinks it was a terrorist attack. And he is the crews’ personal barber also.

5/25/2012 12:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on board the uss Chicago ssn-721 during a west-pac back in the 90's when during midwatch one of the A gangers left his gloves on top of the o2 candle furnace.needless to say they caught on fire and caused quite abit of exitement, followed by alot of hate and dicontent.

5/25/2012 1:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the temperature of the fire...

In my post about the fire one my old boats experienced in the shipyard - the fire started outboard in lower level ops and burned up the hull to upper level ops melting aluminum lockers along the way. That would put the temp somewhere north of 1200 degrees.

Old chief from the dark ages

5/25/2012 3:38 PM

Anonymous Stsc said...

I heard there were guys in the Sphere at the time - they managed to get out safely. For those of you not experienced with 688's, there is a long, very cramped and narrow tunnel from the Sonar Sphere to the access hatch in the forward most set of racks in the FC. One crew member said that the airflow was in from the TT's (locked and blocked open) & out through the WSH. Crew and all responders did an amazing job. I would love to find out the cause but in the meantime, kudos to those who fought the casualty bravely.

5/25/2012 4:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on SSN 666 from 1974-1979. It was in '77 or '78 inport Pearl that a fire was called away in AMR2LL. It turned out to be a reefer plant motor and the fire was out after cutting power and a couple of squirts of CO2. The collateral damage was bad though. SUBASE had taken the springs off of the Weapons Shipping Hatch and ran a piece of nylon strap from the hatch cover to the safety line. A big brawny STS3 jumped down the ladder and grabbed a standoff between the pressure hull and the superstructure with his right hand while pulling the hatch closed with his left. It pulled the strap loose and as the hatch passed verticle he had time to drop but did not get his right over the lip of the hatch in time. He lost it from the forearm down.

5/25/2012 4:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Sargo O2 fire in 1960, I was TM3 in Steam Torpedo shop Subbase Pearl. Several of us walking down to movie theatre and heard a BOOOM pier side of Lockwood Hall. Ran down the street, turned the corner and there is Sargo at Sierra 1 with a six foot flame coming out the stern room hatch and the LOX truck just turning the corner by the bowling ally with the LOX hose trailing behind. We know the story about submerging the stern to put the fire out. What is not appreciated is that there was a MK 37 Mod 0 warshot torpedo in a stowage position in the stern room. When the stern was refloated and stern room pumped out found the 330 lb of HBX-3 had burned up and the aluminum shell of the torpedo and warhead had melted and was found as a puddle in the stern room bilge. Sargo was very, very lucky that that torpedo warhead burned up instead of detonating.

Keep a zero bubble........


5/25/2012 6:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A barber here in Groton thinks it was a terrorist attack. And he is the crews’ personal barber also." -Anon @ 5/25/2012 12:15 PM

This is the 3rd suggestion of a terrorist attack. The first suggestion intimated Russia's ex -KGB Putin was behind it - for revenge. Now, if Putin were behind this, would he assure terrorists were blamed? And, when have terrorists been so successful since 9-11?


5/25/2012 6:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miami's days as an active fast attack submarine are over. The forward comp was a high temp oven for hours! Everything was baked at temps that far exceed the specs on just about everything. The folks at Portsmouth are looking at one gloomy summer at the very least. Even the most optimistic estimates for repair will be eye popping.

5/25/2012 6:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that, according to (your referenced update source) they stated that they closed (sealed) the sub up and have not been in the forward compartments. That they did not want to introduce any oxygen for fear of a reflash.

Why do I have a feeling that they did NOT put the fire out. They closed up the hull and let it smother itself and called it as out.

5/25/2012 7:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They could not have "sealed" up the compartment with the T/T all tagged open. Also, not sure, but could of had a hull cut in the TR for extra services. Those hull openings would have just kept feeding O2 to the fire the whole time, thus leaving the WSH as a chimney for all the smoke to escape!! I am sure this will all come out and be lessons learned for all boats entering dry dock by AUG 12!!

5/25/2012 9:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sad about it, to think the ship will, IMO, be decommed. I deployed in 05, 07, and 09, it is the only boat I have been attached to...

5/25/2012 10:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They more than likely 'sealed the boat' after the fire was out over OSHA and hazmat concerns. Think of all the plastic, rubber, Nauga, & the normally caustic chemicals kept in and around AMR1 and the Aux tank, etc, Then figure that the partially burned remains of all that stuff after hours of fires on all three levels is mixed with hundreds of gallons of firefighting water and foam mixed together into a slurry of chemical nastiness with the toxic fumes all hanging out in pukas and such...

5/25/2012 10:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a loss in confidence of leadership... What kind of standards are being upheld onboard? I'm sure the Commordore is out for blood... That's the way it works right?

Obviously the fire watch would have put it out if the CO and COB trained the Crew... Or maybe there wasn't a fire watch??? Ooh, either way sounds like heads will roll? Right? Isn't that how we do it now?

5/25/2012 10:27 PM

Blogger dark cloud said...

An email this morning from CSL indicates people are inside the forward end and looking at the damage. One word: bad.

5/25/2012 10:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 5/25/2012 10:07 PM
AMR1 on the Miami?
It's the machinery room on 688s.


5/25/2012 11:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amr and aux1. Happy now? You never make a typo? Get over yourself ass clown ringmaster.

5/25/2012 11:55 PM

Blogger Kinole said...

Last U/W on a 688 standing my last watch in AMR. Lasagna was on the menu that day. The EOG was up. Temps erratic and voltages are swinging up and down. We would be surfacing they next morning but they didn't want to light candles opting instead to keep her going. The smell started after an hour and once the white smoke started coming out of the rectifier, I was more than ready to call await Light Smoke and start an Emergency Shutdown and Purge.

5/26/2012 10:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Bremerton, I was getting ready to leave for the day when the AMR reported a freon leak. The forward compartment was pretty empty so I grabbed the 1MC called away the freon leak and and hit the general alarm and all those forward done EAB's. About this time the XO came into the control room and I departed to the AMR. They had been working on the R-12 plant when the piping ruptured. They had rigged up ventilation plus we got the LP blower lined up. Pretty much a non-event except freon can be some nasty stuff, especially to heat producing sources and they had been running the diesel earlier. Since I was EMAT, I stayed and took air samples in the bilges until I certified the AMR was adequetly ventilated and the EAB's came off.

5/26/2012 10:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How bad things look after a major fire can be deceiving. We had a space on a target burn out due to an electrical cable fire that spread to everything else. One of the crew described it like a scene from "Backdraft". SW hoses were used to finally put it out. Afterwards, it looked like Hell. One nasty surprise was finding that the SW had reacted with the products of combustion to produce acid rain inside the space. CRES components were turning brown, Copper pipe was verdigris. A pH swipe on one critical component came back at 2.4!! Our initial thought was to just close the compartment door, weld it shut, and walk away. Instead, every single able body was sent in to disassemble, wipe down, pull cable, strip lagging, etc. from the overhead to the tank top. In less than a month, the space looked brand new and we placed it back in service. Don't go giving up on Miami just yet.

5/26/2012 11:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Royal Canadian Navy had just taken possession of the HMCS Chicoutimi in 2004 from the Brits and were sailing it home for the first time. In heavy seas and with open bridge, sea water poured in, shorted out an electrical panel and caused an extensive fire. One officer later died. Several crew members have had health issues since. Now 8 years later, the Chicoutimi still has not returned to service.

5/26/2012 12:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember reading Blind Man's Bluff and I think it was for Scorpion that they quoted a YN1 in the Pacific as saying he heard it had been a collision. It sounded a bit like, "My cousin Vinny said..." (No offense to YNs out there.)

Here it's "Somebodies barber said it may have been a terrorist attack." As someone who noted, let's hope they do a better job investigating this than USS Iowa. (Which is passing under the GG Bridge this weekend en route to LA to be a museum.) If they blame this on a gay QM, we'll know they didn't.

5/26/2012 6:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Minton.....we handled lines for you when you made it back to San Diego. If I recall correctly, you guys won the DC award that year......very much deserved. From what we saw and heard, it was pretty ugly and could have been catastrophic.

5/27/2012 7:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the boat have electricity or not? It doesn't make any sense to me that it was not hooked up to shore power.

I agree that odds are the cause of the fire was due to welding or grinding but I find it hard to believe that a worker could get away with doing it without the someone knowing about it.

5/27/2012 8:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 5/26/2012 12:17 PM...

"Now 8 years later, the Chicoutimi still has not returned to service."

True, but that's because the Canadian Navy decided in 2005 not to even start work on Chicoutimi until late 2010/early 2011. They simply pulled it out of the water and kept it on a synchro-lift for years. The Canadian people don't have the stomach for significant "defence" spending (yes, they spell defense funny up there), much less unplanned eight-figure repair bills. I had an opportunity to walk through Chicoutimi about two years after the fire, and the inside hardly looked like a submarine. Most everything was removed for the cleanup effort, and it looked like you could wipe ash and soot off of lagging, but they had already scrubbed off as much as they were going to remove. It looked awful, but it would have passed the white glove test.

Chicoutimi will go to sea again; our neighbors to the north just needed time to work it into the budget. I will be interested to see what happens to MIAMI...

5/27/2012 8:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly hope the engineers take the time to analyze the effects of the fire on the hull itself before any politician makes the decision to dump millions upon millions of dollars into repairing the boat...

MMC(SS) (Ret.)

5/27/2012 9:38 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

It's standard for a boat in overhaul to have most of its electrical power needs provided by temporary services installed by the shipyard, so that work can be done on the boat's systems.

5/27/2012 10:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 5/27/2012 8:48 PM
Actually under the current Conservative government, first elected in 2006, Canadian military spending has jumped considerably. Canada acquired new(er) tanks, re-acquired leased Chinook helicopters, added four C-17s, replaced a large chunk of the C-130 fleet, and in the past year, announced a shipbuilding program that will essentially replace all the skimmers afloat in the Canadian navy. They are also in the process of acquiring 65 F-35s, although its spiralling costs have put this into doubt.

The commitment to the submarine fleet, purchased at garage sale prices from the Brits, has been called into question. There have been times where we Canadians have had only one, or even no, boats in the water, out of a total of four.

My uniform was the lowliest verision of the Canadian Air Force (reserve), so I never got anywhere near the boats. It would have been quite interesting to see what happened to the Chicoutimi.

As a side note, with so little time actually spent in the water in the past 12 years by the Canadian submarine community, how on earth do you maintain core competencies? While I don't know if this actually occured, it is entirely feasible that some enlisted sailors may have had a submarine MOC and yet never once put out to sea before their enlistment was up.
The Chicoutimi, which was originally lead ship of the class (HMS Upholder) was launched in 1986 and commissioned in 1990. While she has had very few sea miles put on her, even if fully repaired, wouldn't it be time to to consider her retirement not too long from now?

And if so, does anyone on TSSBP think Congress would authorize their northern neighbours buying three Virginia class boats?

5/28/2012 12:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boats go dead electric in the yard... no sp. There is power on the boat supplied by the shipyard to run temp services (eg lighting) and vital nuke equipment.

Also the shipyard controls a lot of the stuff the duty officer would normally handle in a pierside avail, such as authorizing hot work

5/28/2012 8:32 AM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

Not if you continue to insist on misspelling common words like "neighbors"...:))

5/28/2012 10:45 AM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

@ our Canadian friend...
re: the Chicitoumi, Gitcheegoomie, or whatever - as I understand it (someone will no do correct, if necessary) the main factor for ship's life, especially a non-nuc, is hull integrity, and cumulative hull stresses, which for a sub is highly dependent on the number of pressure cycles to the hull, so the boat in question should have a long life ahead, provided the equipment and propulsion plant is maintained and updated properly. I rather doubt the powers that be would be willing to export Virginia class technology, even to y'all, but could probably make you a sweet deal on some 688s, the Miami, and maybe the La Jolla and Frankencisco. Seriously, the big sticking point would be the whole nuclear thing - that's touchy, but seems potentially doable. Peace, brother...

5/28/2012 11:09 AM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

time to start a new thread, Joel...

5/28/2012 12:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ mark/MM1(ss)
If the pressure cycle issue is the deciding one, then given the lack of actual use, we should be able to get another 25 years out of these boats, assuming they ever all get back in the water.

There is precedent for American/Canadian cooperation on nukes. For the first half of the Cold War, Canada had nuclear warheads. We never built them. They were provided by the U.S. and obstensibly American, but in practice they were Canadian. Indeed, nuclear armed Bomarc missile SAMs were the deathnell to the Avro Arrow, Canada's 2nd gen jet fighter. THAT in turn destroyed the Canadian military aerospace industry as manufacturers, and a huge number of those aerospace engineers ended up at NASA, putting man on the moon.

See? Canada going nuclear resulted in Neil Armstrong planting an American flag on the moon. Funny how that goes around.

Back to the idea of exporting, Wikipedia (yes, Wiki) indicates an Australian politician or prominent guy is suggesting they buy or lease 12(!) Virginia class boats. If the U.S. did export to Canada and Australia, it would be a huge boon to U.S. industry, since they likely would NOT be built under license here. It could potentially double EB production for a few years, adding possibly as many as 15 boats to the production line.

After Canada's bad luck with the horribly built Upholder class (what sub can't take a little water down the hatch without nearly incinerating itself?), there is absolutely zero chance Canada will buy another Brit sub. German, maybe. But with the Prime Minister's focus on arctic sovereignty, plus future arctic oil drilling, nuclear is the way to go.

Considering the budget to own and operate just 65 F-35s now looks like it will top $25 billion+, three $2 billion boats (plus operating costs) sounds like a steal. However, were were burned on the last 'steal.'

Last point: We'll forgive your laziness in using 'u' in neighbour, labour, colour and the like.

5/28/2012 1:06 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

Interesting stuff out there about the Aussie thing - all the news links seem to be from non-US outlets though. The most senior US official with a public position on the matter seems to be the US ambassador to Oz - not someone in the decision loop for sure, so I'd like to see take on this from a DoD or administration source. The biggest hurdle is development of the infrastructure to support and maintain the nuclear end of things; the nuclear weapons and nuclear propulsion entities in the US are quite separate, and face many distinctly different issues, so comparison to weapons coordination is apples and oranges. Again, doesn't seem insurmountable, but difficult? - certainly.
So, should we fell compelled to forgive the insufferably pompous and effete nature of gratuitous "u" usage?

5/28/2012 2:20 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

Belay my thread suggestion re: USS Illinois. Original story had key element retracted. Wonder if erroneous report that crew would be all-female was due to bungling journalist, or Navy/administration bungling press release...

5/28/2012 3:07 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

Australian nuclear powered submarines? I remember protesters for our nuclear powered skimmer visit. Home ported ones could be a tough sell.

I can see Canada with three or four second hand ones, especially with sharing training at Charleston. Maintenance is expensive, of course.

5/29/2012 3:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


5/25/2012 11:43 PM
You always had a way with word.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa.

5/29/2012 1:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Boats go dead electric in the yard... no sp."

They restore power to the switchboards eventually - for my boat (refueling at Puget) it was well before undocking.

"Also the shipyard controls a lot of the stuff the duty officer would normally handle in a pierside avail, such as authorizing hot work"

This is either not true or varies from yard to yard. I authorized every bit of hot work that took place when I was SDO (the CO delegated it to the SDO during the avail). I also inspected the RC hot work sites as EDO when the AWEPS was SDO.

5/29/2012 3:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question on fire fighting.

In 70's boomers, we were trained to use PKPs first, then hoses and foam, lastly CO2 (atmosphere contaminant).

Everyone is talking CO2s, do you still use Purple K?

Just wondering.


5/30/2012 6:46 AM

Anonymous johnnuke said...

CO2 followed by water if required. They decided PKP causes too much corrosion and it many cases did more damage than the small electrical fire it was applied too. Just spray the CO2 and then ventilate if needed, or just let the scrubbers do the work. It's a big boat and a small CO2 extinguisher.

5/30/2012 7:11 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

"Do you have any connection with submarines or the Navy?........"

Here is a quote for you:

"Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the initial estimates put the cost of repairing the submarine at anywhere from $700 million to $1 billion"

The below is saying there are some competing forces against the Portsmouth ship yard and nobody are friends.
After the fire: The shipyard’s future

"If the shipyard is not at fault, that finding needs to be publicized as soon as possible. If Portsmouth shares the blame, the shipyard must quickly make any changes necessary. This is not new. It did so nearly a half-century ago after a truly tragic disaster. After its USS Thresher was lost during sea trials on April 10, 1963, federal investigators criticized the yard’s procedures. Portsmouth responded by fixing the flaws and rebuilding its image as one of the nation’s essential defense assets. If necessary, expect its skilled workforce to do so once again."

This picture got Vermont to immediately replace this bridge and evaluate all southern I 91 bridges. I named it the "Daddy Killer bridge". We are approaching $100 million dollars in new bridges from it.

Me in 2002

"Right, Root Cause Analysis... looking at the big picture from investigation through a lot of accidents and incidents tells us the complex system...the machine, the people and organizations were exactly set up to do what they did.

The complex system was perfectly and knowledgably created to give us the accident we dreaded. There is no such thing as a accident or a coincidence.

Most institutional accidents are always looked back in complete astonishment and utter awe. The only opened question not answerable in the investigation is how did it go on for so long without a catastrophe. The only disgusting question should have happened five years ago and it didn't. Why didn't the people see it. There was one warning after another and the people closed their eyes to the coming slaughter. The system is a object garbage dump of blindness and inaction...why did it take so long for the event to erupt?

That is only astonishment left from the ashes and dust of the non living after the catastrophe is cleaned up.

The object astonishment is we know it is going to happen again, we got the tools to stop it...but we turn our heads from our future sorrows...

I mean, what is the infinite universe going to think about us..."

I was stationed on the USS Lipscomb (SSN 685) for four years in beginning in 1974. Was in the service for six years. I am considered a organizational or institutional expert...I know how organization(s)fail. Conversely, I know how to make organization succeed abd be safe.

A lack of transparency is the reason why the USS Miami was consumed by fire....It is the singular uncontested secrecy mindset that causes these accidents.

5/30/2012 8:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in no place to assign blame I haven't been on board the Miami for awhile and when I was there doing work she and her crew were proud of their ship and she appeared to be well cared for. No doubt this is a huge incident. No doubt we are SO lucky there was no one injured. We can also rest assured the investigation will be complete and improvements made to prevent future fires. I was on the Bolivar when the Bonefish fire occurred. The changes in submarine fire fighting were quick and necessary. They have likely saved lives.

5/30/2012 9:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may understand organizations (doubtful), but you sure as hell have no understanding whatsoever of the people who make them up - or how to get those people listening to you.

5/30/2012 12:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Explain to me why you are posting info from the secure line

5/31/2012 3:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @03:04-

If you're talking about the classification message Joel posted, it's not "from the secure line." N97 distributed it to its entire DC area unclassified mailing list.

5/31/2012 5:03 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

In the biz they call fire fighting changes a facilitative assumption.

5/31/2012 6:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Word on the street is that the cause of the fire may have been something hot getting sucked up into a vacuum by a shipyard worker

That sounds like "the dog ate my home work"...

It seems to me that it should do no more than smolder unless the vacuum was running - loss of O2 and all that.

On the other hand if the canister was not metal and was flammable maybe.

This whole affair really has my curiosity stoked!!!

Old chief from the dark ages

6/01/2012 12:32 AM

Anonymous Didnt Drink the Koolaid said...

RE: Word on the street is that the cause of the fire may have been something hot getting sucked up into a vacuum by a shipyard worker.

Gotta agree with Jerry on this one!

So I am to believe that a shipyard worker knowingly vacuumed up molten welding or cutting slag from his Refisil cloth hotwork enclosure?

Where was the fire watch? Where was Ship's Force (must have happened in the control room due to the location noted as in the stateroom and wardroom overheads)

Sounds to me that housekeeping standards were UNSAT (COB), state of crew firefighting capability with the temporary firemain was UNSAT (XO), firework precautions and standards UNSAT (CO and SY CO). Oversight? Pre-Availability Training and Certification (ISIC). There is plenty of "Accountability" to spread around on this one. I'm guessing that Congress is watching and waiting too.

Loss of a Submarine in Drydock (or at least a very avoidable multi-million CLASS A MISHAP) is UNSAT.

Many submarines successfully complete much more difficult shipyard periods WITH ZERO FIRES! Gotta make it a crew priority, or this happens.

6/01/2012 4:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not believe there was any hotwork going on at the time. Latest word I heard was that the probable cause was a temporary lighting short. More to follow as investigation unfolds.

6/01/2012 6:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To ANON at 0421am.

Good job on making UNSAT conclusions when you do not have the information.

Fire watches at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are provided by the shipyard, not the crew. There is a hot work board in middle level (or wradroom) that states what hot work is on-going.

How do you know housekeeping standards were UNSAT? Did you tour the boat prior to the fire? Do you have some supersecrect inspection report that says housekeeping was UNSAT? What evidence have you been provided that stated housekeeping was UNSAT? Please let me know.

How do you know crew firefighting capability was UNSAT? Do you know the procedures for the shipyard? The crew responds UNTIL the SY fire department arrives and then we stop. As was repeatedly beat into us during my recent EOH there, it is their job, not ours.

The barge was where the crew ate, slept and did a large percentage of work when I was in the shipyard. It was never dloser to the boat than 100 yards. Couple that with the time of the fire (about 1740) and you have a lower number of crew members onboard (boat/barge). Those that are there are probably wrapping up paperwork on the barge, eating (on the barge), or conducting chow reliefs and watch turnovers.

Take the minimal amount of crew, minimized even further by chow reliefs/watch turnover, have them walk quietly/calmly from the barge (my boat was repeatedly dressed down by NRRO, Group 2 and the shipyard bubbas for running from the barge to the fire during drills. Thats how people get hurt...), and then place the DC connex box probably 15 - 50 yars from the boat (our CO/COB fought to get it as close to the brow was possible).

Underway response time with a captive audience...about 1 - 2 minutes. SY yard response time ...about 5 min fro call away to fire fighting. Add in the loss of the man incharge (Nav fell down ladder and was injured) and you have a recipe for disaster.

But please, keep blaming the boat and calling them UNSAT when you DO NOT HAVE the information.

6/01/2012 8:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Anonymous 5/24/2012 11:20 PM

That electrical assistant went on to become a Navigator.......

6/01/2012 10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on the USS Montpelier (SSN-765) standing the midwatch topside, when we had a diesel fuel delivery truck drive down the pier. It started a turn around right in front of my boat (we were outboard) when the truck caught fire. I sounded the collision alarm and called away "fire topside, fire on the pier".....within seconds there was a pressurized firehose and several extinguishers topside from both my boat and the inboard unit. All one guy had on was a pair of dungaree one got hurt fortunately.....(but it did liven up the midwatch a little)

6/01/2012 12:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My earlier post about the fuel truck when I was on the 'Monty reminded me of a time when I had just got back from squadron comms with the message traffic when one of the guys cranking called out a fire in the deep fat frier....I probably could have got in a lot of trouble for leaving my courior pouch on the table but I figured grabbing an extinguisher as a first responder was more important.....

6/01/2012 12:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as a coner former STS presently doing post combat system upgrade/replacement testing, there are no decommed assets to replace stuff that burned up. Weapons systems are way different between 688s and the I boats. Wondering how hot it got in the TR and if it affected the reload skids. Wondering what TTCP and CWL look like in the TR. How are the Sonar active cabinets that are installed inside the dome?

6/01/2012 2:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The barge was where the crew ate, slept and did a large percentage of work when I was in the shipyard. It was never closer to the boat than 100 yards. Couple that with the time of the fire (about 1740) and you have a lower number of crew members onboard (boat/barge). Those that are there are probably wrapping up paperwork on the barge, eating (on the barge), or conducting chow reliefs and watch turnovers."

Spending way too much time on the barge and not demonstrating OWNERSHIP of THE SHIP!!! When you get too comfy on the barge and turn the ship over to the shipyard, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS

UNSAT UNSAT UNSAT - I happen to agree completely with ANON 4:21AM


6/03/2012 10:05 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Asymmetric warfare

Scenario: There are politically and war gaming this right now in the pentagon.

Al Qaeda might be grasping to make a last statement. Iran or Syria might be fearing eminent attack by the USA. With our cyber warfare viruses attacking the middle East and Iran, we have admitted we have committed an act of war against Iran. The USA says it's a act of war if somebody does a cyber terrorism act against us.

What if Iran preemptive or reactively demonstrates a show of force by secretly hitting a high profile American military target? By its demonstration, you will understand our reach if you go to a proportional limited war against us. Do you really want to start a war with us when you are so economically weak and we can hit so many of your high profile targets to the world's medias delight?

The evidence points to it and there are some wild rumors out there. Did Iran or Syria, or them both and with unknown parties conspire, commit a direct act of war by sabotaging a high profile United States nuclear attack submarine sitting naked and unprotected in a Naval shipyard? Did Iran fire bomb the USS Miami SSN 755? What will the next one look like?

How would we know if this was a United States false flag operation, to provoke us into attacking Iran and others?

Do you trust the Navy department to investigate this on their own? Remember the battleship the USS Ohio during the Reagan administration? Would they want to hide their own flaws and give us a partial investigation.

What Institution would you trust to tell us the truth and what level of truth and transparency is a necessity for a democracy?

Would the Navy department bury a terrorist attack or a act of war against us in anticipation of a upcoming presidential election? Would the administration provoke an attack to throw an election or take our minds off a upcoming depression? Is the new stimulus to save us from a depression, a war with Iran? Would the Department of the Defense and their related corporate interest start a war in order to mitigate the upcoming massive defense cuts?

I could make a case a new greater middle east is worth a lot of blood and guts. It has been the dream for 50 years of the greater world to modernize them. We are half way there? My philosophy is you don't provoke a wild and wounded rabid dog to attack you, so you can feel good about putting the dog down out of its misery.

What if conflagration in the sub USS Miami was stupid accident and Iran is using the disaster to stick out its chest to the world and bag to its population how strong they are?

What if you are on the scene and the big story is different than you know?

Who do you serve? Who do your trust? What do you believe?

Have you ever been so alone!

6/03/2012 11:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for demonstrating your complete lack of knowledge about how overhauls work. None of what he described was within the ship's control; nor is it different in any yard. In the thick of the overhaul the yard simply doesn't let the crew occupy the boat they way they would in a normal in-port situation. Nearly all of the crew's requirements remain and you can't get the work done in the environment on board the boat - that's why you have the barge. Ditto for berthing and messing. If you think that's UNSAT take it up with NAVSEA, not Miami, because it's a systemic issue, not a crew one. If you think there was a specific problem then you can just go ahead and shut your mouth because you know as much about the specifics as the rest of us, which is to say that you don't know dick.

6/03/2012 8:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:17

"Thanks for demonstrating your complete lack of knowledge about how overhauls work."

Last time I checked, the CO is still the CO and the overhaul works just like he desires it to (or allows it to). That is why he has the "Opportunity" to write ADM Donald MONTHLY with his insight on how the shipyard time is progressing.

Granted, the barge is necessary for berthing and messing, but it requires OWNERSHIP OF YOUR SHIP to get off the barge and tour YOUR SHIP on a daily basis.

Let's just call that concept "OWNERSHIP".

If you don't get it, well TSSBP!

6/04/2012 4:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angry non-sensical half thoughts ate always the best way to prove how smart you are.
'Oh yeah, you showed me up so I'll say key words and tricky phrases and then call you stupid'
Argument won! Congratulations!

6/04/2012 8:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Plankowner, and have been on three differnt boats...All of this hoo-haah'ing and name calling is quite silly, but I must insist if people can't behave, then you will go to your room for a time out!

Kidding aside, and with respect for the gravity of the situation, I went through sea trials and psa, and the shipyard (then NNS) workers took their jobs very seriously. I would like to wait for the official word before drawing conclusions and passing along conjecture as fact.

6/04/2012 12:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word is USS Memphis will be the donor boat for Miami.

6/04/2012 5:42 PM

Anonymous Been There, Done That said...

Key words and tricky phrases?

Please elaborate.....

I missed your point.

6/04/2012 5:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The overhaul will happen with or without the CO's blessing. Fact is that after system turnovers are done, the only things the CO owns are training, watchstanding principles, and cleanliness. Work packages are all opened so the SDO, and therefore CO, no longer have any input on production until the takeback period.

Do you have any specific examples of the above being UNSAT, or are you just making baseless accusations?

6/04/2012 8:29 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

So fire insurance will cover the $400 million dollars?

6/05/2012 3:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, if by "fire insurance" you mean "American taxpayers"

6/05/2012 4:47 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Would a private yard fire insurance cover the $400 million dollars or part? ?

6/05/2012 5:14 PM

Anonymous hummmm said...

" the only things the CO owns are training, watchstanding principles, and cleanliness."

Show me in the Navy Regulations where the CO is not in charge of his ship - hint - 2 cases where culpability is mitigated -

1. As the bow of the ship crosses the sill of drydock, the dockmaster is responsible for the docking evolution (not the overhaul).

2. As you enter the locks in the Panama Canal the pilot is in charge of navigation.

All of you who think that the shipyard is in charge of overhauls are allowing yourselves to be "victims"

6/05/2012 7:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the CO still retain command then? Maybe it's because he did everything he is responsible for doing.

6/05/2012 9:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

$400+ million dollar repair bill that the Navy will have to come up with.

Let's see, where did I put all that extra money we have laying around.

Has to come from somewhere, usually at the expense of other availabilities, modernization, etc.

6/06/2012 4:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ ANON 9:18

Let's hope that's still the case when all the investigations are completed.

6/06/2012 4:49 AM


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