[ RadSafe ] US Nuclear submarine 'within metres of disaster' offBritish coast:
franz.schoenhofer at chello.at
franz.schoenhofer at chello.at
Tue Jun 21 14:16:16 CDT 2011
Thank you for forwarding this report. But what has it to do with nuclear issues? If the news came from Greenpeace I would expect a comments like "Nuclear Explosion avoided in last Minute", "Risk of radioactive Contamination of Atlantic", "Plymoth saved from nuclear holocaust by a few centimeters".
Sorry for the persons killed, but that is their risk in this job, like it is for fire fighters. Would any such incident have drawn so much attention if it had been a conventionally propulsed submarine?
I do not know the intellectual level of English newspapers. What is it for the Daily Telegraph?
---- Fred Dawson GoogleMail <fred.wp.dawson at googlemail.com> schrieb:
> Telegraph reports
> US Nuclear submarine 'within metres of disaster' off British coast: report
> An American nuclear submarine came within metres of crashing into rocks off
> Plymouth with 'catastrophic' consequences, according to a long-awaited
> The nuclear powered submarine came close to a disaster during the incident
> in which two of their sailors were killed.
> A Royal Navy investigation report says the USS Minneapolis-St Paul became
> dangerously close to grounding on rocks in the River Tamar near Plymouth,
> Devon, and blamed human failings.
> The submarine "came within less than her own length" of hitting rocks as
> rescuers desperately tried to save five crew members who were swept
> overboard in freezing waters.
> Three were plucked to safety by nearby boats but Senior Chief Petty Officer
> Thomas Higgins and Petty Officer Michael Holtz, who were tethered to the
> vessel, were killed after being smashed against the hull by 20 ft waves.
> The incident happened in December 2006 but a report into what happened has
> finally been revealed more than four years later
> Navy investigators said the incident was "tragic" but admitted it could have
> been "catastrophic".
> The report said: "This was a severe incident with multiple loss of life.
> There was a very real possibility of the boat grounding in very rough seas
> and on an ebb tide some 500 yards south of Plymouth breakwater.
> "In addition, the crew's mess hatch remained open in these conditions
> allowing a considerable volume of water into the submarine.
> "Tragic as the loss of the lives of Holtz and Higgins was, the outcome could
> have been so much more catastrophic and thus must be regarded as at the less
> serious end of the potential spectrum of consequences."
> The 24 page report blames human failure and criticised the safety regime at
> the Devonport Naval base in Plymouth.
> The ultimate responsibility for the "severe and wholly avoidable incident"
> lay with commanding officer, Commander Edwin Ruff, who was later relieved of
> his post. The pilot was also sacked.
> The 100 metre long sub had been on a week long visit to Plymouth over
> Christmas 2006 and left the port with an Admiralty pilot on board to guide
> her out of the River Tamar.
> But the transfer of the pilot to a waiting boat was too late with the sub
> travelling at 8-9 knots and the sailors on the casing were exposed to the
> full power of the heavy seas as the sub left the protection of the
> The weather forecast was for 40 knot winds and a very rough sea state.
> The report, by three senior Royal Navy officers, said it was still safe for
> the sub to leave but said:" The incident occurred because of an error by the
> commanding officer.
> "The investigation concludes that the commanding officer was unaware of the
> rapid change in sea conditions from relatively benign inside to life
> threatening outside the breakwater."
> And the report said the Navy had failed to share the lessons learned from a
> similar incident in February 2006 when three British submariners were
> trapped on the casing of HMS Sovreign after being hit by a large wave while
> leaving Plymouth.
> The report was only released last week even though it was finalised in
> January 2007 and updated in May the same year
> Fred Dawson
> New Malden
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Franz Schoenhofer, PhD, MinRat
mobile: ++43 699 1706 1227
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