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(Yahoo)   RIP USS Miami, SSN-755, decommissioned today and headed off to the scrap yard. A boat that proudly served in three different conflicts was destroyed by a lazy shipyard worker who wanted to leave work early   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 156
    More: Sad, USS Miami, Miami, navies, Kittery, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, boats, arsons  
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17986 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Mar 2014 at 8:26 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-29 09:05:59 PM  
Meh. It's a boat.
 
2014-03-29 09:06:35 PM  
HA! I totally read the sentence incorrectly in the article.

If only someone had just posted that paragraph, or if I'd re-read it earlier, this could have been avoided.
 
2014-03-29 09:07:10 PM  
I misread the article as if the SUB were going to be shipped to Idaho, that was the entire point. It made no farking sense to me why that would take place.
 
2014-03-29 09:07:53 PM  
Seeking an excuse to leave work early, Casey James Fury set fire to a box of rags on a bunk, and the blaze quickly spread throughout the forward compartments. Fury pleaded guilty and is serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison.

i.imgur.com

The Fury!!!
 
2014-03-29 09:08:15 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: And the defense contractors building the thing are happier than pigs in shiat because they're insured and get to build a new one.

Just a guess.


No more LA-class boats anymore.  They're now Seawolf-class Fast Attacks.  Won't build more until the oldest LA-class reach end-of-service, and it may be more economical to just replace the nuke fuel, given the current state of foreign boats in service.
 
2014-03-29 09:08:28 PM  
I worked with a guy who was a Nuke tech or whatever they call it, in the Navy.  He was on a boomer sub.  Said the most scared he was going to die his whole time in the Navy was leaving the shipyards.  Hated the yard workers.  One guy welded clear through the control cable leading from the Con to the nuke.  Another was not following procedure carrying wrenches up the ladder, dropped it like 30 feet onto a crewman and fractured his skull. There were plenty more stories, from just one visit to the yards.

After that he was sure their first cruise out would be their last.
 
2014-03-29 09:10:26 PM  

indy_kid: ecmoRandomNumbers: And the defense contractors building the thing are happier than pigs in shiat because they're insured and get to build a new one.

Just a guess.

No more LA-class boats anymore.  They're now Seawolf-class Fast Attacks.  Won't build more until the oldest LA-class reach end-of-service, and it may be more economical to just replace the nuke fuel, given the current state of foreign boats in service.


There were only  3 hulls in the Seawolf class.  That's history.  Virginia class, on the other hand....
 
2014-03-29 09:13:18 PM  
Holy crap, that's a lot of money. Almost enough to put a temporary bike path on the bay bridge!
 
2014-03-29 09:13:38 PM  

rohar: subfactorial: DanInKansas: Man On Pink Corner: don't understand how something made almost entirely of metal is so easily destroyed by fire.  WTF happens when this thing gets into an actual war?

You.   You go read this right now. Your local library has a copy.

Short answer: naval warfare is horrifying.

Longer answer: You're less likely to die in combat as a sailor but if you do it's always in an incredibly painful way, like being shredded by a pressure wave, incinerated in a fire, cut in half by a bulkhead door slamming shut, etc., etc., etc.

Well actually only one of those is probably painful in any meaningful way. The 1st and 3rd leave a godawful mess for whoever cleans up after you, particularly the first one, but you'd be unlikely to feel a thing.

Doesn't make it any less horrible of course.

...and fark this guy who burnt up that boat. Arson to get off work early? I'm usually against really lengthy setences since people lose perspective on just how long 5-10-20 years is but this guy... 17 doesn't seem like enough.

Man On Pink Corner forgot about being eviscerated by a leak in a high pressure pipe.  Just walking along and there's a microscopic leak in a 5000lb pipe.  You can't even see it.  Then the top half of your body leaves the bottom half. 

Being a submariner, good times.


That one isn't just a risk for submariners. I knew some guys in the merchant marines (engineer types) who would walk around with a stick in front of them just to catch shiat like that before it clipped one half of them from the other.

Could be BS but I believe it. Superheated steam is sharp.
 
2014-03-29 09:14:32 PM  

buzzcut73: puffy999: Basically, why even bother floating and towing it if they are going to ship the thing all the way to Idaho, unless that's literally the only place that can handle the sub?

The sub isn't going to Idaho, only the nuclear bits are going there, and they can fit on trucks or train cars. The remainder of the sub will be towed to Washington, and scrapped there. Does that make more sense?


Towing it from Maine to Washington makes MUCH more sense than towing it to Idaho.
 
2014-03-29 09:15:28 PM  

puffy999: Is there no where else to fix the vessel or to cut it up?

If floating it saves so much money by taking a relatively long route from the Snake River down the Colombia and all the way around Juan De Fuca, why not fix it sooner and utilize the Mississippi/Missouri/Ohio Rivers as well?


Puget Sound is the only place equipped to remove the reactor from a boat because it's the closest Naval facility to the normal resting place for reactors. Every single nuclear powered boat or ship that's been decommissioned (save one, which is a museum ship) has gone there. If it's going to Idaho it's possible that they plan on setting up the reactor compartment for training. At one time there was a reactor built there specifically to train new reactor operators and the people operating the rest of the engineering plant (steam, cooling water, lube oil and so on) before they went to the fleet. I only say this because the usual fate of submarine reactors is in a big pit over in Hanford WA. In those cases Puget Sound removes the fuel, cuts out the entire reactor compartment, caps off both ends with a couple of inches of steel then barges it off for a trip up the Columbia. When it gets to Hanford it's taken off of the barge and s.l.o.w.l.y. moved inland to a huge pit where, last time I heard, there are over 100 other similarly prepared reactor compartments. When that pit is filled it will be capped off and left alone for some 600 years. The rest of the boat is salvaged for parts that can be refurbished and reused elsewhere in the navy and then the rest is sold for scrap.

As to fixing it the cost to do that was higher than the cost of a new boat. A submarine fire in the shipyard isn't quite as bad as one at sea. In the shipyard there are open hatches for the heat to get out as well as hull cuts (used to remove large pieces of gear that can't fit through a hatch). That being said there is much more damage than possible heat damage to the hull. Smoke carries acids that coat electronics rendering them essentially worthless in a short amount of time. The heat can damage valve guts and mechanical joints, each of which has to be opened up, inspected and repaired then put back in place then tested to either level one or subsafe standards. Every inch of wiring also has to be inspected (and there are literally hundreds of miles of wires in a modern submarine). All of that costs money with no guarantee that there still won't be some problems later on, and believe me when I say that nobody wants to be at test depth on a boat that is even a tiny bit questionable materially speaking. I took a boat out of Newport News after a refueling overhaul back in the 80's and the stories I could tell you would scare the crap out of you. Several seawater valves that had bolts that were only hand tight was probably one of the worst ones but there were other problems too. We ended up being about 6 months overdue for leaving while the shipyard went over everything that they worked on with a fine toothed comb.
 
2014-03-29 09:17:33 PM  

mr intrepid: ZAZ: It took 12 hours and the efforts of more than 100 firefighters to save the vessel.

"Save"?

I wish they could cut up the worker and sell off the parts for salvage value.

Dibs on his liver.


Kidneys here, please.

\oh who am I kidding, my blood type is a frickin' death sentence if anything ever goes wrong
 
2014-03-29 09:17:35 PM  

Ambivalence: Considering how many people are in the military, I'm actually kind of impressed this kind of thing doesn't happen more often.  Statistically speaking.


He wasn't in the military, he was a civilian worker at the shipyard where it was being worked on.
 
2014-03-29 09:18:02 PM  

rohar: subfactorial: DanInKansas: Man On Pink Corner: don't understand how something made almost entirely of metal is so easily destroyed by fire.  WTF happens when this thing gets into an actual war?

You.   You go read this right now. Your local library has a copy.

Short answer: naval warfare is horrifying.

Longer answer: You're less likely to die in combat as a sailor but if you do it's always in an incredibly painful way, like being shredded by a pressure wave, incinerated in a fire, cut in half by a bulkhead door slamming shut, etc., etc., etc.

Well actually only one of those is probably painful in any meaningful way. The 1st and 3rd leave a godawful mess for whoever cleans up after you, particularly the first one, but you'd be unlikely to feel a thing.

Doesn't make it any less horrible of course.

...and fark this guy who burnt up that boat. Arson to get off work early? I'm usually against really lengthy setences since people lose perspective on just how long 5-10-20 years is but this guy... 17 doesn't seem like enough.

Man On Pink Corner forgot about being eviscerated by a leak in a high pressure pipe.  Just walking along and there's a microscopic leak in a 5000lb pipe.  You can't even see it.  Then the top half of your body leaves the bottom half. 

Being a submariner, good times.


Let's not forget allv the fun and interesting ways to get dosed. Won't kill you immediately...but later ain't gonna be much fun either.

/SSBN626
//MT
///2 black badges in 6 years, only glow in the dark during the new moon
 
2014-03-29 09:19:20 PM  
Seeking an excuse to leave work early, Casey James Fury set fire to a box of rags on a bunk, and the blaze quickly spread throughout the forward compartments. Fury pleaded guilty and is serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison.

Do people not know how to fake a headache anymore?
 
2014-03-29 09:19:23 PM  
Weird. I was just thinking about my first boat which was SSN757. Wonder how the ol' Alexandria is doing.
 
2014-03-29 09:20:23 PM  
Ah, one of the boats I toured at Groton's sub base... along with the Jimmy Carter and Texas.

/had lunch onboard the Miami, taco salad
/csb
 
2014-03-29 09:22:04 PM  
That asshole intentionally set fire to a motherfarking nuclear submarine and all he gets is 17 years?
 
2014-03-29 09:22:25 PM  

Mztlplx: /SSBN626//MT///2 black badges in 6 years, only glow in the dark during the new moon


I forgot about phosgene.  Damnit!  All these years later and I forget how to be afraid of a boat.  BTDT, but I ain't giving up my resume to this pile of skimmers.
 
2014-03-29 09:25:07 PM  
I am amazed at the number of nukes on fark.

/ssn 662 & 708
 
2014-03-29 09:26:30 PM  

puffy999: The context of the rest of my comment is somewhat important. They're going to float this thing per the article, so that is what I meant by "fix."


The route probably has to do with the boats draft. "Fixing" it for a tow is relatively simple. Cap off any seawater entry points below the waterline, close the topside hatches and that's all there is to it.. Almost every single place that water can come into on a boat is made to be capped off by divers with a flange plate using bolts to attach them to facilitate in port repairs without having to go into drydock. I say almost because the shaft seals are the one place where that simply cannot be done, but they will probably take off the screw, lock the shaft and tighten the packing glands to prevent any leaking. After that they will most likely weld on some extra tow points and strengthen the bullnose.
 
2014-03-29 09:26:50 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: And the defense contractors building the thing are happier than pigs in shiat because they're insured and get to build a new one.

Just a guess.


CSB: My cousin is a welder at EB, so he's probably one of the people who'll get to put its replacement together.

\not a job i remotely even want to pretend to want
 
2014-03-29 09:26:52 PM  

iron_city_ap: Towing it from Maine to Washington makes MUCH more sense than towing it to Idaho.


I read it as "shipping," as in trucks. Which makes even less sense. Which was the point before discovering my error.

Radioactive Ass: puffy999: Is there no where else to fix the vessel or to cut it up?

If floating it saves so much money by taking a relatively long route from the Snake River down the Colombia and all the way around Juan De Fuca, why not fix it sooner and utilize the Mississippi/Missouri/Ohio Rivers as well?

Puget Sound is the only place equipped to remove the reactor from a boat because it's the closest Naval facility to the normal resting place for reactors. Every single nuclear powered boat or ship that's been decommissioned (save one, which is a museum ship) has gone there. If it's going to Idaho it's possible that they plan on setting up the reactor compartment for training. At one time there was a reactor built there specifically to train new reactor operators and the people operating the rest of the engineering plant (steam, cooling water, lube oil and so on) before they went to the fleet. I only say this because the usual fate of submarine reactors is in a big pit over in Hanford WA. In those cases Puget Sound removes the fuel, cuts out the entire reactor compartment, caps off both ends with a couple of inches of steel then barges it off for a trip up the Columbia. When it gets to Hanford it's taken off of the barge and s.l.o.w.l.y. moved inland to a huge pit where, last time I heard, there are over 100 other similarly prepared reactor compartments. When that pit is filled it will be capped off and left alone for some 600 years. The rest of the boat is salvaged for parts that can be refurbished and reused elsewhere in the navy and then the rest is sold for scrap.

As to fixing it the cost to do that was higher than the cost of a new boat. A submarine fire in the shipyard isn't quite as bad as one at sea. In the shipyard there are open hatches for the heat to get out as well as hull cuts (used to remove large pieces of gear that can't fit through a hatch). That being said there is much more damage than possible heat damage to the hull. Smoke carries acids that coat electron ...


A++ would read again.

Though, again, misreading part of the article doesn't help.
 
2014-03-29 09:26:55 PM  

Bigjohn3592: I worked with a guy who was a Nuke tech or whatever they call it, in the Navy.  He was on a boomer sub.  Said the most scared he was going to die his whole time in the Navy was leaving the shipyards.  Hated the yard workers.  One guy welded clear through the control cable leading from the Con to the nuke.  Another was not following procedure carrying wrenches up the ladder, dropped it like 30 feet onto a crewman and fractured his skull. There were plenty more stories, from just one visit to the yards.


Someone wanted vents on the condensers of our AC units, so some idiot yard worker machined steel plugs with copper tubing, and a brass valve at the end.  About a month out of the yard, one of those plugs blew out; the corrosion caused by the dissimilar metals (steel and the brass tank of the condenser) ate most of the threads.  A 50-PSI stream of water sprayed into a $10K electric motor, destroying it.

I was first on scene and stopped the flooding after a few moments; just had to reach behind me to shut off the motor supplying cooling water to the condenser, then close some butterfly isolation valves.  To swap out the motor, we had to cut through 2 decks, then replace the flooring over each after the cutouts were welding back into place.   Fortunately, we had the evidence, so the shipyard ended up paying for the repairs.

The really scary part was all this 50-PSI seawater spraying around the room and onto our Auxiliary Electrical Distribution Panel.  It was carrying about 900KW at the time.  If the water had contacted anything energized on the Board, I would have been killed instantly (standing in 2-3" of saltwater), and responders would have walked into a really bad scene.
 
2014-03-29 09:26:55 PM  

Gunboat: I am amazed at the number of nukes on fark.

/ssn 662 & 708


Somebody has to keep the surface targets honest.
 
2014-03-29 09:27:35 PM  

Gunboat: I am amazed at the number of nukes on fark.

/ssn 662 & 708


I was also briefly on the 710 (USS Boston). The joke was that 710 upside down and backwards spelled OIL, which is why the engines leaked so much.
 
2014-03-29 09:27:49 PM  

HotWingAgenda: That asshole intentionally set fire to a motherfarking nuclear submarine and all he gets is 17 years?


Well, no one died. Had someone died, it would have been a life sentence.
 
2014-03-29 09:27:59 PM  

rohar: Sea


Yep yep. The Sea Wolf class was too expensive, and they nicknamed the USS Sea Wolf the "Pier Wolf" due to upkeep.
The USS Texas is a shiny new Virginia class boat, the class meant to replace the Sea Wolf class.
 
2014-03-29 09:28:32 PM  

Mztlplx: Gunboat: I am amazed at the number of nukes on fark.

/ssn 662 & 708

Somebody has to keep the surface targets honest.


As hard as we try, it ain't never gonna happen.
 
2014-03-29 09:28:56 PM  

FriarReb98: ecmoRandomNumbers: And the defense contractors building the thing are happier than pigs in shiat because they're insured and get to build a new one.

Just a guess.

CSB: My cousin is a welder at EB, so he's probably one of the people who'll get to put its replacement together.

\not a job i remotely even want to pretend to want


Any idea how the money is? I hear it is good.
 
2014-03-29 09:32:41 PM  

Bigjohn3592: I worked with a guy who was a Nuke tech or whatever they call it, in the Navy.  He was on a boomer sub.  Said the most scared he was going to die his whole time in the Navy was leaving the shipyards.  Hated the yard workers.  One guy welded clear through the control cable leading from the Con to the nuke.  Another was not following procedure carrying wrenches up the ladder, dropped it like 30 feet onto a crewman and fractured his skull. There were plenty more stories, from just one visit to the yards.

After that he was sure their first cruise out would be their last.


I lucked out on this being a Marine, but all the sailors I served with said that they ended up spending the first month or so out of the shipyards fixing the stuff the yardworkers farked up




Agent Nick Fury: DanInKansas: Man On Pink Corner: don't understand how something made almost entirely of metal is so easily destroyed by fire.  WTF happens when this thing gets into an actual war?

You.   You go read this right now. Your local library has a copy.

Short answer: naval warfare is horrifying.

Longer answer: You're less likely to die in combat as a sailor but if you do it's always in an incredibly painful way, like being shredded by a pressure wave, incinerated in a fire, cut in half by a bulkhead door slamming shut, etc., etc., etc.

Not to make this a gore fest but they called the A-7 the man-eater for a reason


Not just the A-7s out to get ya...
 
2014-03-29 09:32:44 PM  

sooprd8ve: Man On Pink Corner: <i>Seeking an excuse to leave work early, Casey James Fury set fire to a box of rags on a bunk, and the blaze quickly spread throughout the forward compartments. Fury pleaded guilty and is serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison.</i>

I don't understand how something made almost entirely of metal is so easily destroyed by fire.  WTF happens when this thing gets into an actual war?

Paint burns, wires burn, chairs and bedding and curtains (every bunk has one) burn.  Papers, they burn too.  Computers burn. There's a ton of stuff in every ship that can burn.  Do you think these are sterile stainless steel operating room (stuff in there that can burn too) vessels where everyone walks, sleeps, and lives on bare stainless steel?  In the case of an actual war, there are repair lockers manned by people like myself that are trained to not only do my regular job (avionics in my case), but also to fight fires, seal ruptures in pipes, contain flooding, defend your right to be stupid, many other jobs.


He's probably not a sub guy and has never been on a submarine. His question seems stupid but it isn't as obvious as you would think.
 
2014-03-29 09:34:35 PM  
If only submarines were surrounded by a substance commonly used to douse fires.
 
2014-03-29 09:34:46 PM  

ActionJoe: Man On Pink Corner: <i>Seeking an excuse to leave work early, Casey James Fury set fire to a box of rags on a bunk, and the blaze quickly spread throughout the forward compartments. Fury pleaded guilty and is serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison.</i>

I don't understand how something made almost entirely of metal is so easily destroyed by fire.  WTF happens when this thing gets into an actual war?

Ships are at their most vulnerable when not manned and in port. The automatic suppression system was turned off....which seems very silly to have the entire system turned off....the decks were probably filled with many other combustible things due to work being done. It does seem silly that a simple fire could do so much damage but huge amounts of damage can be done by someone with malicious intent.


Weren't they doing welding?  And, if so, wouldn't that trigger the suppression system?  Probably easiest just to turn the whole system off, than parts of it...if you can even shut down just a portion.

(just speculating, no expertise in the field)
 
2014-03-29 09:38:05 PM  

shower_in_my_socks: If only submarines were surrounded by a substance commonly used to douse fires.


If only that substance wasn't incredibly corrosive when sprayed on electronics and metal.

And if only the submarine wasn't in drydock high-and-dry out of that substance.
 
2014-03-29 09:39:37 PM  

puffy999: Basically, why even bother floating and towing it if they are going to ship the thing all the way to Idaho, unless that's literally the only place that can handle the sub?


The nuclear fuel is going to Idaho, the sub is bei g towed to Puget Sound.
 
2014-03-29 09:48:27 PM  

NEDM: puffy999: NEDM: Because I'm not sure you can get something the size of a nuclear submarine up the Missouri River that far. And I don't even know if they've linked the Columbia River to the Mississippi River system with canals or not. I don't think they have.

I'm not suggesting the whole distance, obviously. However, if towing that far would save so much money relative to the MUCH shorter driving distance between Boise (? I don't know where that facility is) and Bremerton, other river systems could be utilized to some degree. Even shipping to Pittsburgh and towing to some location on the Mississippi should then be somewhat cost effective, IF indeed it could be fixed to such a degree on the east coast.

It is much MUCH cheaper to hire a tug to tow the hulk from Maine to Washington than it would to try and lift a 5750 ton submarine out of the water and try and truck it over the Rocky Mountains.  In fact, I don't know if there is even a truck that can carry something that big in the US.  If there is, its daily rate is much MUCH MUCH more than the rate for a single ocean-going tug.


Towing is ultimately the only way this can happen.
 
2014-03-29 09:49:36 PM  

shower_in_my_socks: If only submarines were surrounded by a substance commonly used to douse fires.


Boats are always refueled while in drydock. If they weren't the hull cuts could cause flooding if the weather gets rough enough.

PunGent: Weren't they doing welding? And, if so, wouldn't that trigger the suppression system? Probably easiest just to turn the whole system off, than parts of it...if you can even shut down just a portion.


It's not that simple. The fire suppression "System" is the crew with fire hoses in normal situations (ie: not in the shipyard). The trim system piping, which is the usual source of fire fighting water, is torn apart while in a major overhaul so there literally is no way to get water to a fire except by hoses strung in through hatches (and that means fouling the hatch making it hard to get in or out, there are already wires, ventilation ducts and so on there already). Even the trim tanks are emptied out for the shipyard to do work inside them. In the shipyard. When welding is going on there is at least one crew member sitting there with a fire extinguisher, two if the welding is on a bulkhead just in case the heat passes through the metal and starts a fire on the other side.

In this particular case the fire was started where there was no welding going on. Odds are there was only one or two guys on watch forward of the reactor compartment. The belowdecks watch and maybe the duty officer, duty chief or the duty section leader. at that stage of an overhaul the crew is told to stay away unless they have actual business on the boat to attend to. The shipyard workers need all of the room that they can get and crew members just standing around slow down the work.

Fires that can't be put out by a single extinguisher are supposed to be fought by the shipyard fire department. They obviously failed massively in this instance.
 
2014-03-29 09:50:49 PM  

Ambivalence: Considering how many people are in the military, I'm actually kind of impressed this kind of thing doesn't happen more often.  Statistically speaking.


I am sure it happens lots. But most people have the sense to not torch the place.
 
2014-03-29 09:54:27 PM  
Csb:
Many years ago I worked for an outfit that had multiple installations on military bases. I was at home in Charleston when there was a fault with some of our equipment done by another team (I supported Marine manufacturing, this was Navy). The Navy team was all away, I was asked to go into the Charleston navy base. No security clearance so two MPS had to escort me saying things like "you are not allowed to look at this. But damn check this out. Very cool" the whole way into a very secure area. I fixed the issue in minutes. Getting bored I went out into the sunlight and was looking at a boomer being worked on. A construction worker walked past and asked if I wanted to go through. Of course I did. He gave me his hard helmet and said he would be back in an hour after lunch. So security.... Not so much.
/csb
 
2014-03-29 09:54:51 PM  

PunGent: ActionJoe: Man On Pink Corner: <i>Seeking an excuse to leave work early, Casey James Fury set fire to a box of rags on a bunk, and the blaze quickly spread throughout the forward compartments. Fury pleaded guilty and is serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison.</i>

I don't understand how something made almost entirely of metal is so easily destroyed by fire.  WTF happens when this thing gets into an actual war?

Ships are at their most vulnerable when not manned and in port. The automatic suppression system was turned off....which seems very silly to have the entire system turned off....the decks were probably filled with many other combustible things due to work being done. It does seem silly that a simple fire could do so much damage but huge amounts of damage can be done by someone with malicious intent.

Weren't they doing welding?  And, if so, wouldn't that trigger the suppression system?  Probably easiest just to turn the whole system off, than parts of it...if you can even shut down just a portion.

(just speculating, no expertise in the field)




There is no automated fire suppression system. It's a dude with a fire hose. In the yards most of the duty section is on the barge/building.
 
2014-03-29 09:55:48 PM  

WhackingDay: Gunboat: I am amazed at the number of nukes on fark.

/ssn 662 & 708

I was also briefly on the 710 (USS Boston). The joke was that 710 upside down and backwards spelled OIL, which is why the engines leaked so much.


ssn 642 (after she was turned into a special ops ride)  -- elt

Our joke was that the enemy could hear us coming from a thousand miles away.
 
2014-03-29 09:59:06 PM  
I lucked out on this being a Marine, but all the sailors I served with said that they ended up spending the first month or so out of the shipyards fixing the stuff the yardworkers farked up

Plenty of blame to go around for everybody. One time I was sitting in the office, got a call from a sailor, said they had welded a cracked hydraulic manifold on their torpedo handling system, and the manifold would just crack again. I asked what kind of welding rod they were using, he said just a regular steel rod. I gently informed him the manifold was made of aluminum. There was an "ummmmmm...OK" and I didn't here back from him again.

Navy ships are incredibly complex machines, far more so than planes or spacecraft. Everybody works very hard just trying to keep everything running. Sometimes out of boredom I just sit in a compartment aboard ship and count up the value of all the valves, switchers, sensors, wiring, lights, expensive alloy piping, and so on. One little office, or workshop, or whatever easily contains hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stuff. And it takes people with specialized knowledge just to do the simplest fixes.

Then there was my trip last week to Indian Island Naval Magazine in Washington State, just to replace *one* sprocket on a piece of machinery. Me and my contractor team flew from the east coast, drove up the Olympic Peninsula to the place, went aboard, installed the new sprocket, weight tested the equipment the next, then came back the following day.  Thousands of dollars spent for a simple fix, but there was no other way to do it.

It was a pain in the ass to go all the way out there for that, but on the plus side, I did stay at the hotel in Port Townsend where they filmed the suicide scene for Officer and a Gentleman. Thus I visited another Navy Holy Site, so I got that going for me, which is nice....
 
2014-03-29 10:06:05 PM  

powhound: ssn 642


I helped clean up their Otto Fuel spill back in the mid 80's when it was still stationed out of Holy Loch (they were pulling TMs off of all of the boats to relieve the crew and keep the cleanup going). What a mess that was, we ended up tearing apart the weapon stow locks and pulling up tracks and deck plates because it didn't just spill, it sprayed all over the place and went into every single nook and cranny. That was fun. It took them about 30 days working 24/7 to get the readings back to normal and the stows put back together and weight tested then getting their weapons back on board. Sucking rubber for 12 hours isn't all that much fun, especially when it was on your off duty day.
 
2014-03-29 10:06:20 PM  

ActionJoe: Man On Pink Corner: <i>Seeking an excuse to leave work early, Casey James Fury set fire to a box of rags on a bunk, and the blaze quickly spread throughout the forward compartments. Fury pleaded guilty and is serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison.</i>

I don't understand how something made almost entirely of metal is so easily destroyed by fire.  WTF happens when this thing gets into an actual war?

Ships are at their most vulnerable when not manned and in port. The automatic suppression system was turned off....which seems very silly to have the entire system turned off....the decks were probably filled with many other combustible things due to work being done. It does seem silly that a simple fire could do so much damage but huge amounts of damage can be done by someone with malicious intent.


It seems like it...but why would anyone think that some douchebag would deliberately set a fire for such an asinine reason? That's the kind of thing that slips past security and fire control systems planners because rank stupidity is harder to plan for than even terrorism.
 
2014-03-29 10:06:27 PM  
How does a simple arson fire damage a thing mostly made of metal? Honestly curious.
 
2014-03-29 10:12:10 PM  
Pretty messed up when someone thinks "You know, I really don't feel like working on this nuclear sub today. I think I'll set it on fire instead."

I have no idea, but wouldn't a job working on subs in a shipyard pay pretty decent?
 
2014-03-29 10:16:18 PM  

vodka: How does a simple arson fire damage a thing mostly made of metal? Honestly curious.


Mainly because on the inside (where the fire was) there's a lot of flammable materials plus it took them about 12 hours to get the fire put out completely. Then every single mechanical joint has O-rings that need to be replaced, every single valve needs to be rebuilt (more O-Rings plus packing and seats), all of the electronics were exposed to acidic smoke so all of that needs to be replaced, the hull would have to be checked by radiography or other types of non destructive testing and that means stripping off all of the hull insulation (inside and out in the case of a 688). That's just what I can think of off of the top of my head, I'm quite sure that I'm missing a lot more.
 
2014-03-29 10:21:40 PM  

Dr Jack Badofsky: I have no idea, but wouldn't a job working on subs in a shipyard pay pretty decent?


That depends on the job. In this case a painter. They have a fairly low skill set and they don't need to know much more than what not to paint. I'm willing to bet that they are at the lowest end of the pay spectrum as far as shipyard workers go. Even the guy who sits in a corner pulling a lanyard at regular intervals (and they even have a flashing light telling them when to pull the lanyard) to flush the hydraulic system with steam probably gets paid more.
 
2014-03-29 10:22:02 PM  

Gyrfalcon: That's the kind of thing that slips past security and fire control systems planners because rank stupidity is harder to plan for than even terrorism.


Make something idiot-proof and the Universe takes it as a challenge.
 
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