Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fallen MSP Sailors Identified

According to the BBC, the Navy has released the names of the two Submariners who were tragically lost off the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul on Friday:
The dead men were named as Senior Chief Thomas Higgins, 45, of Paducah, Kentucky, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Holtz, 30, of Lakewood, Ohio.
The US Navy said in a statement on Sunday that the cause of the accident remained under investigation.
Sailors, Rest Your Oars...

According to the CSG-2 web page, ETCS(SS) Thomas Higgins was the MSP's Chief of the Boat. This makes the incident even more tragic -- now the crew will have to cope with the sense of loss they feel without a man who I'm sure was a mentor to all.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Submariners lost off the coast of England

More from the BBC:

Two crew members of an American submarine have died after falling overboard in Plymouth Sound.

They were among four crewmen who were working in poor weather on the outside casing of the USS Minneapolis-St Paul off the Devon coast.

It sounds as if they were topside rigging for dive:

A spokesman for Brixham Coastguard said: "The four got into difficulties while on the outer casing of the submarine.
"They were unable to get back on board, they were tied on but getting battered about by the weather."

The American nuclear-powered submarine, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia, was leaving the harbour at the time of the incident

Rigging for dive - plenty of people jostling about topside, trying to get a lot done quickly, but all thankfully harnessed. However, as this proves, the harnesses are not protection against everything. We had an OOD get swept off the bridge, and get beaten up bouncing against the side of the sail - thankfully no more than bruises and sprains for him. Getting beaten against a metal hull by an unyielding sea is not something the human body was designed for.

A little more detail from a Norfolk news source, via this Fark thread.

More details at The Sub Report and The Stupid Shall be Punished.

Original Post:

From CNN:

Two U.S. sailors were killed after falling overboard from a nuclear-powered submarine as it left the southern English port of Plymouth on Friday, the U.S. Navy said.

Two other sailors who fell overboard from the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul suffered minor injuries but were later released from hospital, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 6th fleet in Italy said.

Clearly, still developing, as this just occured today.

Our hearts and prayers are with the crew and families.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 Submarine Photos Year in Review

Video Compilation of 2006 photos of the United States Submarine Force. Presented by

All Photos courtesy of Naval Media and

Click Here for the Google Video Link if the above does not work.

If you are interested in an original copy of this presentation, please contact

Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Submarine Blogger In The News

Eric from The Sub Report got written up (in a good way) in the Florida Today for his outstanding web site. Excerpts:
A knack for news and Internet research, as well as a background in the Navy, prompted a local man to design a Web site for anyone interested in submarine news from around the world.
A former missile technician and missile-test launch supervisor, Eric Ryle was in the Navy until 1998...
...“The submarine community is small so there’s a real brotherhood,” Ryle said. “I saw there were a lot of military bloggers, but not a lot of submarine bloggers, so I started a Drudge-like web site where I have links to submarine news. The news comes mainly from the United States, but I’m also able to find links from foreign sites.”
Ryle adds between five and 30 posts a day, depending on what he can find. While a large majority of the news are from home, he often finds news from Russia, Japan, England, Australia, Germany and Spain.
It's a pretty good article, notwithstanding the omission of the websites name or URL. Congratulations, Eric!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Submarine Christmas Photoshop Contest

Just a reminder -- entries for The Sub Report's Submarine Christmas Photoshop Contest are due by 2359 tonight (Thursday the 14th). Here's the page with the entries that have come in so far. It's a great chance to have some fun and maybe win a prize.

You don't need any fancy software to do a good photoshop; I just use the Microsoft Picture It! that came with my computer, and if you don't have that, Eric has a link to some freeware.

And while I'm posting -- if you get a chance, please consider voting for my own submarine-themed blog, The Stupid Shall Be Punished, in the 2006 Weblog Awards. Voting continues until midnight Friday night, and you can vote every 24 hours. Thanks!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

thought i'd share a couple with the community

for those of you that don't visit eric's sub report blog, you're missing something pretty cool
check out his submarine Christmas gizmo he made. it even has our erstwhile famous milblogger Joel in there! (he's in the running for fame and blog fortune.)

and i'd like to direct your attention to a new blog that a bubblehead has started that recounts his navy days from boot to boat. it's an anon. blog, but i know who it is, and yes, he's a real bubblehead.
check out A Western Reach. i'm sure he'll rekindle some of those long forgotten memories. drop by and tell him bo sent you. oh, and don't cut him any slack either.

A date which will live in infamy...

I had the opportunity to have breakfast with two survivors of the USS Arizona (BB-39), which was sunk in the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

It's no wonder these men are referred to as memebers of the "Greatest Generation".

I have always been amazed and impressed by how those men handled the largest war in human history. Their dedication, selflessness, committment, and sense of duty set the bar for all who followed them in service to our nation. They endured a life in the military that makes the worst days we have in modern times pale in comparison...submariners of that time were depth charged, pilots flew into combat with absolutely none of the technology we take for granted, surface sailors lived, worked, and fought in conditions that few of us in modern times could even imagine. And yet when you talk to these veterans what comes through is an overwhelming sense of duty and dedication. They only saw a job that had to be done, and they simply did that job. They saw nothing remarkable about is an ingrained trait, it seems. Their remembrances were of the comraderie and dedication to their shipmates, with barely a mention of hardship.

The stories they tell are amazing. What we only know from history books and poor Hollywood attempts to depict they lived. And sadly (yet inevitably) time is taking it's toll. Most Pearl Harbor surviviors are in or nearing 80 years old. There are fewer than 20 Arizona surviviors, and the youngest is 82. It will not be long before their first-hand experience is lost to us.

Yet it seems sometimes that our more recent generations are not interested. It's sad, sometimes, that there are not more people interested in hearing their stories and learning from their experiences.

Today, December 7th, 2006, is the 65th anniversary of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Take a moment to remember the sacrifice of the Greatest Generation, and if you ever get the chance to talk to one of these vets, do so. It's a unique experience.

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(Crossposted to The Online Magazine Formerly Known As Rob's Blog)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just in case anyone cares...

Update on South Korean Sub on USPS Commemorative.....

Along with Jack Sandy ( who originally discovered the flaw), we contacted the good folks at ASC, who were commissioned to produce this US Navy Commemorative that somehow contained a South Korean Submarine where a United States "boat" should be. Jack contacted them first, and I followed several days later as follow-up.

Unlike the management folks we contacted at our illustrious United States Postal Service, who gave us nothing but a bureaucratic run-around, ASC immediately got back to us with these prompt and courteous responses. Here's the E-mail I received yesterday....


Thank you for letting us know about the Submarine. It actually was brought to our attention just last week. This piece was approved by the Navy and we obtained our images from them. We obviously never intended to insult the Navy and are currently destroying over 2000 prints and replacing the image. Please accept our apology and know that we are rectifying the situation immediately.

Lisa Koryga

...based on this communique, some doofus somewhere in the Navy authorized the entry of this picture into this commemorative. I personally think that his or her next duty station should be either somewhere in Antartica, Adak Alaska or Gitmo, Cuba.

Fer any of y'all out there that might wanna get sumthin nice frum these here good folks, go to American Stamp Collectibles and take a look at their products, they've got some other really nice stuff fer gifts.....


Monday, December 04, 2006

Two Trapped Underwater In Australian Rescue Submarine

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

Breaking news from Australia:
THE Australian navy is standing by to help rescue two people aboard a civilian submarine rescue craft stranded on the ocean floor off the West Australian coast.
An Australian Submarine Rescue Vehicle (ASRV) ran into difficulty about midnight when the winching system failed as it was being recovered during certification trials.
The Australian Defence Force says the two personnel aboard the vessel, called the Remora, were in no danger.
The Remora, operated by the civilian diving contractor Caldive, was lowered, in accordance with safety procedures, to the sea bed and was currently sitting in 130 metres of water.
The two people aboard remain connected to the mother ship, Motor Vessel Seahorse Standard, by a secondary cable which gives them power and allows them to communicate with the vessel.
It may be able to be used for lifting the Remora in an emergency.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) says the frigate HMAS ANZAC, navy clearance divers and medical personnel were standing by to help Caldive if needed.
"The current weather conditions preclude a controlled recovery of the ASRV at this time, but an emergency option remains available if required," ADF said in a statement.
Caldive is currently developing a rescue plan with help from the Royal Australian Navy...
...But it was taking part in a navy submarine escape exercise in the Western Australian exercise areas at the time of the incident.
Here's a picture of the Remora:

Caldive appears to be a subsidiary of Helix. For now, it looks like the situation is well in hand.

Staying at PD...

Update 2210 04 Dec: It looks like the Remora and M/V Seahorse Standard are frequently used for sea trials and submarine rescue exercises. There are many pictures of the Remora here and here, one of which shows her on her support ship.

The last coastal warning for the Seahorse Standard was from 21 Nov, which said:


The Sunday Times has this article discussing the capabilities of the Remora.

Here's the ISMERLO (International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office) homepage, which might have some updates if any international forces are needed.

Update 2235 04 Dec: They've been rescued.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Snug Harbor Meets and Host a Historical Speaker of Atomic Proportions

Snug Harbor USSVI Base Meeting
Satellite Beach Florida
02 Dec. 2006

Snug Harbor opened up its meeting for regular business recognizing outgoing officers for their efforts and the welcoming of new officers. Tim Veard, departing Base Commander, officiated the meeting acknowledging the New Base Commander William E. Irvine and Vice Commander Shawn D. Brown. The Base Chaplin Robert L. Chasse gave a prayer for the base meeting and a blessing for that days football game with Go Navy! Beat Army. Cross Posted from (Click here for the rest of the Story with Photo's)