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NBC: Damaged sub hit undersea ‘mound’

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NBC: Damaged sub hit undersea ‘mound’

Old 01-10-05, 04:16 PM
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NBC: Damaged sub hit undersea ‘mound’

I'm suprised there wasn't a thread about this. A US Navy sub ran into an "underwater mound" at 40 mph over the weekend at a depth of 500+ feet. I would say they are lucky they surfaced.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6801642/
NBC: Damaged sub hit undersea ‘mound’
1 crewman killed, 23 injured in incident south of Guam
By NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski and wire services

Updated: 2:25 p.m. ET Jan. 10, 2005WASHINGTON - NBC News has obtained dramatic new details about the accident involving the U.S. Navy submarine San Francisco over the weekend that killed one sailor and injured 23 others.


Navy officials say the Los Angeles class submarine was cruising at approximately 40 mph at a depth of 525 feet Saturday when it slammed into an undersea "mound" about 350 miles southeast of Guam.

The impact of the collision slowed the 7,000-ton submarine from 40 mph to about 5 mph in an instant. Everyone standing on the bridge was violently thrown forward, NBC News was told. The crew member who died suffered fatal head injuries.

Immediately after the collision, the sub made an "emergency blow," or rapid ascent to the surface. It was during an emergency blow exercise that the U.S. submarine Greenville collided with a Japanese fishing boat, which then sunk off the coast of Hawaii, killing nine of 35 passengers.

The nose of the submarine, which contains the sub's sensitive sonar system, was destroyed. Despite the catastrophic collision, the inner hull of the sub remained intact, and the San Francisco limped into Guam. Had the inner hull been penetrated in the collision, Navy officials say the extreme pressure at 525 feet below sea level would have almost immediately crushed the sub.

Navy officials say the sub's commander said the San Francisco collided with an "uncharted" mound that would have been invisible to the sub's crew if they were running silently — without using underwater sonar. Some officials say, however, that the usual underwater sea lanes used by U.S. submarines have been fully charted and it's not clear why the sub, which was apparently in transit from Guam to Australia, would have been operating in waters that were not adequately charted.

It was unclear if the sub was traveling in a routine sea lane for submarines, which would have been thoroughly charted.

Navy investigators will have to determine the exact location and cause of the accident.

The dead man was identified by the Navy as Machinist Mate 2nd Class Joseph Allen Ashley, 24, of Akron, Ohio. He died Sunday of injuries he received in the accident, said Jon Yoshishige, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Honolulu.

There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco’s reactor plant, but the extent of damage to the 360-foot submarine would be determined after an investigation of its hull, Yoshishige said. The vessel reached port under its own power.

The San Francisco is one of three submarines based on Guam.

Located west of the international date line, Guam is a U.S. territory about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Last edited by OldDude; 01-10-05 at 04:31 PM.
Old 01-10-05, 04:21 PM
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Wow. That sucks! Someone's gonna get in trouble for this fuck up.
Old 01-10-05, 04:23 PM
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Was it the mound we use to set off Tsunamis? I mean...move along.
Old 01-10-05, 04:28 PM
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Go-ji-rah!
Old 01-10-05, 04:32 PM
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Just like its namesake it was probably busy steering too hard toward port to see where it was going.
Old 01-10-05, 04:44 PM
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The nose of the submarine, which contains the sub's sensitive sonar system, was destroyed.
We call that "instant karma".
Old 01-10-05, 04:48 PM
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Not to nitpick, but the official Navy report said 40 knots not mph.
Old 01-10-05, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Just like its namesake it was probably busy steering too hard toward port to see where it was going.
Old 01-10-05, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Was it the mound we use to set off Tsunamis?
I'm sure the earthquake changed some of the underwater geography. I'd be curious to know how much of it was changed. Those hyperprecise charts we've spent decades gathering? Yeah, we can probably throw most of those away...

It's pretty interesting to consider this. In real-time strategy videogames, whne you move a unit (say, a soldier) through unknown territory, you get an immediate view of the area. When you move him away, that area turns cloudy, indicating that that's how it looked when last you visited it. Of course, those maps get less and less precise as time passes. Undersea cartography must be the same way.

- David Stein
Old 01-10-05, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sfsdfd
I'm sure the earthquake changed some of the underwater geography. I'd be curious to know how much of it was changed. Those hyperprecise charts we've spent decades gathering? Yeah, we can probably throw most of those away...

- David Stein
The earthquake was in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia. Guam is in the Northern Pacific, thousands of miles aways, between the Philippines and Hawaii.
Old 01-10-05, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
The earthquake was in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia. Guam is in the Northern Pacific, thousands of miles aways, between the Philippines and Hawaii.
Have you not heard any of the far-reaching impact of this event? The entire globe was given a slight wobble by the force of the earthquake. Or this article about water levels in wells in Virginia shifting three feet at the time of the earthquake. This wasn't just a localized occurrence - it's a force of nature on a huge scale.

- David Stein
Old 01-10-05, 05:34 PM
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The under sea maps exist only as a guide. Subs navigate by sonar equipment that costs more than the GNP of most third world countries.
Old 01-10-05, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Jello
Subs navigate by sonar equipment that costs more than the GNP of most third world countries.
Not when they're running silent. They only listen in that case.
Old 01-10-05, 05:36 PM
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Is the "NBC" in the title so that we know we can trust the report, as oposed to CBS?
Old 01-10-05, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
Is the "NBC" in the title so that we know we can trust the report, as oposed to CBS?
CBS!?!?! Pffff!! Those lying bastards!
Old 01-10-05, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Not when they're running silent. They only listen in that case.
At the speed they were going, is there such a thing as "running silent"?
Old 01-10-05, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Jello
At the speed they were going, is there such a thing as "running silent"?
I believe so. I've been on a sub in "quiet" mode and it's amazing what you can hear above the sounds of the sub. Like whales, props and engines of other boats, etc.
Old 01-10-05, 05:59 PM
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I forsee a made for tv movie...
Old 01-10-05, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Jello
The under sea maps exist only as a guide. Subs navigate by sonar equipment that costs more than the GNP of most third world countries.
Piffle - big deal. My home theater set up costs more than the GNP of most 3rd world countries.
Old 01-10-05, 06:55 PM
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They couldn't see the mound through the windshield?

Seriously, how anyone can willingly be a submariner is beyond me.
Old 01-10-05, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Trout
Seriously, how anyone can willingly be a submariner is beyond me.
Tight quarters. Shared bunks. The smell of man-sweat.
Old 01-10-05, 07:07 PM
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Emergency Blow?!

I wish I could get one of those.
Old 01-10-05, 07:37 PM
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Looks ok to me..

Old 01-10-05, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
The earthquake was in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia. Guam is in the Northern Pacific, thousands of miles aways, between the Philippines and Hawaii.
I wouldn't be surprised if the earthquake had some effect in the Pacific. According to this article the eathquake/Tsunami redrew the ocean floor and ship channels.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6791600/


Tsunami redrew ship channels, ocean floor
Cartographers working quickly to gather new information
The Associated Press
Updated: 7:51 p.m. ET Jan. 5, 2005

WASHINGTON - Water depths in parts of the Straits of Malacca, one of the world's busiest shipping channels off the coast of Sumatra, reached about 4,000 feet before last month's tsunami. Now, reports are coming in of just 100 feet ? too dangerous for shipping, if proved true.


A U.S. spy imagery agency is working around the clock to gather information, warn mariners and begin the time-consuming task of recharting altered coastlines and ports throughout the region.

Officials at the Bethesda, Md.-based National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency say the efforts will take international cooperation over months, if not years.

Thousands of navigational aides, such as buoys held in place by mushroom-shaped anchors, were carried off to new locations by 50-foot to 100-foot waves. Old shipwrecks marked on charts have been relocated, joined by new wrecks that will have to be salvaged, moved or charted.

But there might be a silver lining in the devastation.

"Maybe there's less pirates now," says Peter Doherty, who works at the agency and is chairman for the International Hydrographic Organization's commission that sends out radio navigational warnings.

He and others are hoping that the waves carried away the modern-day Blackbeards. These thieves trolled the waters in high-speed boats, armed with guns, knives and grappling hooks, which they used to climb the sides of ships to steal them and their goods.

Just how different the ocean floor looks remains largely a mystery. The bulk of the tsunami recovery effort has gone toward humanitarian relief. Gradually, however, attention will turn to what it will take to make the region's waters safe. Among the first priorities will be making the channels safe for relief shipments.

New configurations
The U.S. agency, which analyzes spy satellite imagery and produces maps and charts for the Defense Department, has so far sent out two tsunami-related warnings on a Pentagon messaging system and made them available publicly on its own Web site.

Ports of call may be heavily damaged "to include unknown new bottom configurations, ship wrecks, shoreline changes and depth limitations," according to a warning from Dec. 29.

"In addition," the notice said, "aids to navigation may be damaged, inoperable, off station or even destroyed. ... Proceed with extreme caution."

The agency has received an unconfirmed report that one area of the Strait of Malacca, which divides Malaysia and the devastated Indonesian island of Sumatra, had its depth cut from 4,060 feet to just 105 feet.

In another area of tsunami-effected waters, a merchant marine ship has logged that the depth was cut from 3,855 feet to just 92 feet.


Whole channels moved
The agency's chief hydrographer, Chris Andreasen, said experts may find that whole channels were moved by the earthquake that preceded the tsunami, shifting the ocean floor many feet, rather than the inches seen during the 1989 California quake during the World Series.

"When the plate moves, everything on it moves," Andreasen said. "There could be some pretty serious shifts."

Related story

Tsunami change to coastlines likely temporary

Warnings about the new oceanic landscape go out right away. But the agency waits to update its charts until it gets final confirmation.

Among other international operations, the Navy is sending two ships to begin efforts to rechart the waters. One, the USNS John McDonnell, could arrive by next week.

It is expected to be followed by the newer USNS Mary Sears, which is awaiting final orders to head out from Japan. On board will be sonar, a dozen scientists and 34-foot vessels used to rechart the shipping channels.

The initial goal is not to study every square foot, but to understand what happened to the channels so the ports can be used to deliver relief supplies. Now, helicopters and airplanes are the primary means, said Capt. Jeffrey Best, commanding officer at the Naval Oceanographic Office at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The Navy does not know what it will find. "We may have buildings or buses in the channels of the harbors," Best said.
© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Old 01-10-05, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Jello
At the speed they were going, is there such a thing as "running silent"?
No, that's why it is unusual to run at that speed although they are perfectly capable. You are making so much noise you might as well use active sonar.

"Running silent" (their usual mode) is crawling around at 4-5 knots.

The faster they go, the blinder they get.

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