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  • Bitter Boy
    replied
    Commander of Sub relieved of command

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The commander of a U.S. nuclear submarine has been relieved of duty after two of his sailors drowned, the Navy said Friday.

    On December 29, rough seas swept four American sailors from the deck of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul off the coast of southwestern England. Two of the sailors were rescued.

    The other two, Senior Chief Petty Officer Thomas Higgins of Paducah, Kentucky, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Holtz of Lakewood, Ohio, died.

    The four men were taken to a hospital in Plymouth, where two were pronounced dead.

    A Navy investigation determined that the incident was avoidable and caused in part by a poor decision by Cmdr. Edwin Ruff.

    The Navy said Ruff has been reassigned to a post in Norfolk, Virginia. The decision was made by Vice Adm. Chuck Munns, commander of the Navy's Submarine Force in Norfolk.

    "Munns took this action due to a loss of confidence in Ruff's ability to command," a Navy statement said.

    Earlier this week, Ruff and another officer on the submarine received letters of reprimand. The Navy did not provide further details on the findings of its investigation.

    The Minneapolis-St. Paul, assigned to the 6th Fleet, had just completed a weeklong layover in Plymouth, England, about 210 miles southwest of London.

    Based in Norfolk, the sub was heading to sea for routine duties when the accident happened.

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  • ZULU
    replied
    I think the fact that they were bashed off the hull by the waves having been secured by lifeline was the deciding factor. I've fallen overboard while off shore, thankfully while someone else was on deck with me. I ended up having to cut the safety line cause i couldn't be hauled up and my body was being f%&ked against the hull. It was safer for me to be in the water than attrached to the boat.

    A very good friend of mine (passed away) was a solo transatlantic sailor. He always said that he didn't wear a safety line on deck. It would just prolong the agony.

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  • Rooster
    replied
    Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
    You don't need to be in a military force to appreciate weather conditions.
    Of course not, its just that a lot of people both civilian and military seem to think that because we tend to have quite "mild" weather conditions when compared to say the Arctic, Jungle or the Deserts then people seem surprised when body bags come down from the mountains or out of the sea.
    When we hear a story of how someone goes up in the mountains or out to sea with very little or no safety equipment, no comms, on their own or without telling someone their route or maybe all of the above then its little wonder that they don't make it back in one piece!

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  • Stoker
    replied
    I have seen subs on the surface at night in the Irish Sea showing nav lights from astern that we did not recognise and were not in the book. maybe they were derigging something before diving..... just a thought.

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  • armedboarder
    replied
    Well you wouldn't get me on deck without a secure harness and a Hazardous Duty Life Jacket.

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  • Goldie fish
    replied
    On the deck of subs, those on deck usually wear safety harnesses.

    When leaving or entering port, US crews often have lookouts on the sailplane.

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  • hedgehog
    replied
    Coastguards said the four sailors were tied to the 110m (362ft) vessel and were being "battered about" by the weather.

    Is that literally tied

    or is it more sea dog lingo

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  • spider
    replied
    Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
    Something wrong there. Why were they on deck in foul weather?
    Would it have had anything to do with the boats security ? AFAIK the RN subs get escorted by Royal Marines when entering or leaving Faslane. Everyone is jittery about a terrorist attack.

    They were both quite senior crew members.... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/6221149.stm

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  • armedboarder
    replied
    Very true Goldie, but it is rare to see the military in an unfavorable ratio to civilian casulties, when it comes to weather induced mortality.

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  • Goldie fish
    replied
    You don't need to be in a military force to appreciate weather conditions.

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  • armedboarder
    replied
    Originally posted by Rooster View Post
    The average civilian doesn't appreciate how dangerous the climate can be in these islands especially at this time of year.

    http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com...1&d=1167757692

    Heres a look of weather at sea.
    Attached Files

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  • Rooster
    replied
    The average civilian doesn't appreciate how dangerous the climate can be in these islands especially at this time of year.

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  • armedboarder
    replied
    Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
    Something wrong there. Why were they on deck in foul weather?
    Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die.
    I dont think they would have went out there in poor sea state unless they had orders to carry out. Obviously a fire order to effect "essential repairs". Pity the fool who gave them, those lives on his / her head now.

    Rest in peace.

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  • Goldie fish
    replied
    Something wrong there. Why were they on deck in foul weather?

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  • The Blue Max
    replied
    May They Rest In Peace.

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