Banner Ad 1

Sub Colides with Amphib

This is the place to read all about submarines in the real world!

Postby U-5075 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:31 pm

Some details of the damage to the NEW ORLEANS ... ans195943/

Gaping hole detailed in collision of S.D.-based ship and submarine
By Steve Liewer (Contact) Union-Tribune Staff Writer
7:59 p.m. March 27, 2009

SAN DIEGO – A jarring collision with a nuclear submarine in the Strait of Hormuz on March 20 tore a gaping hole in the hull of the San Diego-based amphibious landing dock New Orleans, the Navy said Friday.

The impact created a 16-by-18-foot hole in the New Orleans, which was commissioned in 2007 and was on its first deployment to the Persian Gulf, said Lt. Sean Robertson, a Navy spokesman.

A fuel tank ruptured, and two ballast tanks sustained interior damage. The ship leaked about 25,000 gallons of diesel marine fuel into the water, but Navy aircraft could detect no slick on the surface the next day.

The Hartford, based in New London, Conn., sustained damage to its sail, periscope and port blow plane, Robertson said. Investigators believe it rolled 85 degrees – almost on its side – when the New Orleans struck it.

Fifteen sailors aboard the sub suffered minor injuries, and they have returned to duty.

Navy divers made a preliminary damage assessment this week after the two ships reached Manama, Bahrain, under their own power. Robertson said the full extent of the damage isn't known yet. He didn't specify the cost or length of time for repairs.

The Navy is conducting two investigations: a safety investigation to see how it could prevent similar accidents in the future and a legal inquest to affix responsibility.

The collision occurred about 1 a.m. as the ships operated independently in the eastern end of the V-shaped Strait of Hormuz. About 20 percent of the world's globally traded oil passes through the waterway, which links the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea.

Several Navy veterans said the ships' damage suggests the New Orleans ran over the Hartford from the left side as the submarine was surfacing.

“It's obviously indicative of a very hard hit on the Hartford,” said retired Navy Capt. Jan van Tol, a military analyst with the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C. “It appears to be a test of the quality of construction that they made it back to port.”

Though the hole in the New Orleans' hull is large, it's not nearly big enough to sink the ship, said van Tol, who once skippered the amphibious assault ship Essex.

“It would take a lot of flooding to affect its survivability,” he said.

Van Tol said no amphibious ships carry sonar, so it would have been impossible for the New Orleans to detect the Hartford beneath it.

For that reason, it's a rule of seafaring that submarines are responsible for avoiding ships on the surface, said retired Navy Capt. Sam L. Ward III of Coronado, a former sub commander.

Ward said submarines typically operate at least 130 feet below the surface to stay clear of vessels.

Surfacing is a complex and risky operation, especially in the narrow, shallow and heavily traveled Strait of Hormuz. Ward said submarines typically make a circular sweep at a safe depth, listening carefully for ships nearby before rising above the waves.

“It's a cacophony of noise,” Ward said. “You just have to be very cautious.”
Registered User
Posts: 1134
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 9:45 am

Postby junglelord » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:31 pm

MMM, my last name is Ward, wonder if I am related to the retired Navy Capt. Sam L. Ward III of Coronado, a former sub commander, mentioned in the article. I know I have many relatives in the states. That would be cool. I must check that out.
User avatar
Registered User
Posts: 347
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:11 am
Location: Ontario Canada

Postby U-5075 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:13 am ... 3472.story

Electric Boat Eager For Chance To Repair Damaged USS Hartford
By ERIC GERSHON | The Hartford Courant
March 31, 2009
Nuclear accidents always get noticed.

Sometimes they yield business.

In the case of the USS Hartford's March 20 collision with another Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, the opportunity might be for Electric Boat, which built the Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine in the early 1990s.

Although the Navy's shipyards get first dibs on repair work, the best-qualified government shipyards appear to be too busy to handle the extensive repairs the USS Hartford might need, improving the odds that a private shipyard will get the work, said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District.

Electric Boat, which employs about 7,800 people in Connecticut, relies on repair work to keep workers occupied during the slower phases of new construction.

"Certainly we'd be interested in repair work, because it's such a valuable way of maintaining the defense industrial base," company spokesman Bob Hamilton said Monday. He said the company is talking with the Navy about the extent of the damage and where it could be fixed.

But EB's history with the USS Hartford, named after Connecticut's capital, hardly means the company is guaranteed the job. After running aground in the Mediterranean in 2004, for example, the Hartford was repaired in Norfolk, Va.

Space could also open up at military shipyards in Portsmouth, N.H., and Pearl Harbor.

In this case, the Navy hasn't even said for certain that the repairs would be made in the U.S. Questions remain about the submarine's ability to make the journey here from Bahrain, the Persian Gulf nation where its condition is being assessed and initial repairs are underway.

The Hartford, while submerged, collided with the USS New Orleans, an amphibious troop transporter, as the ships traveled in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow, busy shipping lane between Iran and the Arabian peninsula.

Since that accident, the Navy has offered little detail about the extent of the damage or how much repairs are likely to cost. The tower, periscope and port bow plane all were damaged. The Navy emphasized that the sub's nuclear propulsion system was not damaged.

Still, photographs of the damage shocked Courtney, whose district includes Groton.

"It took a huge hit," he said, having reviewed photographs of the damaged Hartford. "Stuff must have been flying all over the place."

About 15 sailors were hurt in the accident, none seriously.

For now, EB's biggest advantage over rival shipyards appears to be space for doing the work.

"The timing of the dry dock availability is very fortuitous for Connecticut right now," Courtney said.
Registered User
Posts: 1134
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 9:45 am

Postby Britt Boyette » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:08 am

junglelord wrote:You could say that hit close to home

We can laugh cause he is OK, but its not funny till he is home.
I pray his safe return.

At this time, they are still docked in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain I believe. They are trying to decide what to do next with the damages. Fix or depart is the $64 question. Now he's telling me he wants to re-enlist for another 4 years because the economy is tanking and he fears being stuck working in the fast food industry. I really can't blame him although he could go to college on the GI Bill. So much for him getting out in October! :cry:
Britt Boyette

Break Like The Wind Racing
Britt Boyette
Registered User
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2003 12:44 am
Location: Keizer, OR


Return to Subs in the News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users