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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:01 PM

Stuck Minesweeper to Be Cut Into Pieces

Unable to tow the minesweeper USS Guardian off a reef in the Philippines, the Navy has decided that the only way to free the ship without causing further damage to the reef is to cut the ship into pieces.

That basically means the USS Guardian will no longer exist as a Navy vessel and will be taken off the Navy's ship roster.

The 23-year-old Avenger class minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef the night of Jan. 17 as the ship crossed the Sulu Sea. The reef, located about 400 miles south of Manila, is both a Philippines natural park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Days after the incident the commander of the Navy's Seventh Fleet issued an apology to the Philippine government.

In the days since, the Navy was unable to tow the ship off the reef as poor sea conditions complicated the salvage effort. Capt. Darryn James, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told ABC News that the Navy now plans to cut the ship into pieces to get it off the reef. Two heavy lift ship-borne cranes will arrive at the scene by Friday to begin to salvage the ship. The process is expected to take a month.

http://news.yahoo.com/stuck-minesweeper-cut-pieces-135952990--abc-news-politics.html

20 replies, 1457 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Stuck Minesweeper to Be Cut Into Pieces (Original post)
Sherman A1 Jan 2013 OP
MADem Jan 2013 #1
Confusious Jan 2013 #4
MADem Jan 2013 #8
Brother Buzz Jan 2013 #5
MADem Jan 2013 #9
Brother Buzz Jan 2013 #13
MADem Jan 2013 #18
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #6
MADem Jan 2013 #11
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #12
MADem Jan 2013 #15
Hard Assets Jan 2013 #2
Confusious Jan 2013 #3
ManiacJoe Jan 2013 #7
sgsmith Jan 2013 #10
Downwinder Jan 2013 #14
Crepuscular Jan 2013 #17
Robb Jan 2013 #16
MADem Jan 2013 #19
morningfog Jan 2013 #20

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:09 PM

1. Oh Jeeeeeeeeeeeez! That CO already saw his career sink to the bottom of the sea, now he's got

to see his one and only command cut up like so much chopped liver!

Oh, the pain!! The PAIN~~~!!!!!!!!!!



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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:34 PM

4. That Captain is going to be a standard for years to come

a bad standard.

"don't be like captain so-and-so."

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Response to Confusious (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:50 PM

8. Yep, and he was SO LUCKY, too--LCDR command at sea is like a hen's tooth.

There are so few opportunities, and it puts ya on the Very Fast Track for Great Things.

When I first heard about this mishap, my first thought was "Ah-ha! The alternates on the 0-4 command at sea list are going to be having sleepless nights, waiting for their phones to ring...!"

I guess they can sleep through the night, now--they aren't gonna build a replacement; they'll just adjust the deployment schedules for the assets they've got.

That relieved skipper is probably the unhappiest person in the Navy today. Since they can't salvage the vessel, he can't even play the Nimitz Card!

Back in Nimitz's junior officer days, the Navy was a bit more forgiving:

Such a dream assignment couldn’t last long. Because of Japanese belligerency fueled by prejudicial treatment of Japanese immigrants on the West Coast, Roosevelt ordered the battle fleet to the Pacific, and Panay was recalled to the Cavite Naval Base in Manila Bay. Making his arrival call on the Senior Officer Present, the 22-year old Nimitz, now an Ensign, was sent immediately on board USS Decatur (DD-5) to take command. At the time, Decatur had been out of commission for about a year – in some form of inoperative or reserve status in which the ship was not only cold iron but without any crew. When he went on board, still in the whites with sword that he had worn to make his formal call, he was greeted by two Filipino watchmen, since a crew was still being assembled. Surmounting the problems of an idle ship, unbunkered with a scratch crew, ENS Nimitz managed to get Decatur to the dry dock at Subic Bay within the two-and-a-half days demanded by the admiral.

The war scare over, Decatur operated independently for almost two years in Philippine waters. In July 1908, on entering an unfamiliar harbor in Manila Bay she ran aground and had to be towed off the next day. Relieved of command and court-martialed, Nimitz was found guilty of “neglect of duty” and sentenced to a reprimand. The Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Naval Forces Philippines declared in his endorsement, “The promulgation of the proceedings and sentence will be regarded as constituting in itself the reprimand.” Later in life, as an admiral, Nimitz was quick to cite this incident when questioned if anyone who ran a ship aground could have a future in the Navy.


http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/n87/usw/issue_18/nimitz.htm

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:42 PM

5. Read the article

A preliminary Navy review found that the digital chart the crew was using to navigate the ship incorrectly listed the reef's location by 8 miles. A review of additional charts created by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency found another navigational aberration off the coast of Chile. Both have been corrected.

One would assume the Commander will have a strong defense at the inquiry.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:52 PM

9. Doesn't matter. He's in command, he's responsible, he's accountable.

It's a zero tolerance environment these days.

We'll see, but I'm betting his career is toast.

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Response to MADem (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:06 PM

13. We'll see, but I'm betting this will be the exception

Especially after the Navy OK's the chart used by grounded minesweeper, then acknowledged it was wrong.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:10 AM

18. The reason I think otherwise is because I've seen this sort of thing before.

And it's a rare situation when both the Fleet Admiral and the US Ambassador have to get in there to do damage control as a consequence of a vessel running aground.

We'll see what the PIO says--I think it's All Ashore That's Going Ashore for that fellah.

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:46 PM

6. Maybe not

according to the link "the digital chart the crew was using to navigate the ship incorrectly listed the reef's location by 8 miles". He might be cleared.

Almost all cases where a captain is relieved, it's because either he, or someone under his command made a mistake or poor judgment call. Under those conditions the relief from command would be appropriate.

In this case since the chart was at fault, he may get another command. I'll also point out that the coral reef so apparent from the aerial shot may not have been visible from the bridge of the ship.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:00 PM

11. I'm betting they'll find a reason to give him the hand.

He'll hear stuff like You were going too fast in unfamiliar waters; why didn't you check your depth, hazards to navigation can pop up anywhere, particularly after hurricane season; were you actively supervising your OOD, and if not, why not, and let's take the head off your XO, too, while we're at it! And the OOD/JOOD....


The messenger of the watch will probably be the only one on the bridge to escape the full wrath.

I predict no 2nd command for this guy, and no more promotions, either--unless he knows someone in the PAO or INTEL games who can pull a string or ten for him and get him reassigned. He'll be lucky if he can put in a continuance letter and drive a desk from now to retirement.

We'll see, though. I'm just not hearing a lotta Kumbayah out of the USN these days--it's a hard environment owing to force and budget constraints.

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Response to MADem (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:05 PM

12. I'm not saying it's definite, merely

that he has a more valid reason then most.

If the charts indicated he was in deep water, then he had no reason to expect a coral reef or any need to check depth.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:32 PM

15. Seventh Fleet had to go, hat in hand, and apologize to the GOP (that's government of the Phillipines

not the Republicans) for damaging their "national park" and World Heritage site. And they're fining the shit out of USN, too!

I'm betting he never wants to hear the poor guy's name ever again!

I hear a Greenpeace vessel did the same thing--got stuck on that very reef--about eight years ago.

There should have been a notice to mariners about it...?

It doesn't help that they were coming off liberty in Subic....you can be sure that the PIO is going to be asking the "How many beers and how long at the bar?" type questions...

Time will reveal all, but I'm thinking that "Unforgiven" is all the rage these days. I hope the poor slob has a "Plan B" in mind.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:18 PM

2. Sulu Sea?

 

So George Takei has a sea named after him?

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Response to Hard Assets (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:33 PM

3. Other way around.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:49 PM

7. Send the bill to the map maker?

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:53 PM

10. Just another department of the US government

 

We all end up paying for the accident in the long run.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:18 PM

14. The Captain can always get a job with Costa.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:12 PM

17. LoL!

Snort! That one made me laugh, well played, Sir!

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:35 PM

16. Anyone else amazed at the care being taken with the reef?

At the expense of a Navy vessel?

... No offense, because it's great. But how long has this been the way of things?

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Response to Robb (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:12 AM

19. It's a UN World Heritage Site and a National Park. nt

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Response to Robb (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:17 AM

20. I can't answer your question. But, I like the result.

The ship can be rebuilt. A new ship can be built.

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