Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

That Ship is Fraked!

The USS Port Royal, a Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser, ran aground about 12 days ago.

I'll have more later, as it is late. My information is that the Port Royal is well and truly fucked up. This is what they are saying publicly:
The incident damaged the bow-mounted sonar housing and struts, shafts and propellers. Tips of the blades from the props were sheared off, officials said.
It is apparently a lot worse than that. Both the newspaper article and Wikipedia are saying that the ship's captain was "temporarily relieved" of his command. Don't believe a word of the "temporarily" part. If the surface navy works the same way now as it did in the past, the only way he is ever going to sea again is if he buys a ticket for a cruise ship.


Dusty said...

I gulped when I heard about it a couple days ago.

He is so fucked...but deservedly so. How do you ground a ship like that?

Cujo359 said...

Going to sea again, perhaps? ;) Either that, or the Navy's become much harsher.

I assumed when I first read about this that the captain of that ship was out of a job. It's hard to imagine what he was doing in such shallow water. Clearly, he wasn't paying attention to where the bottom was.

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

I fixed that typo, Cujo. Thanks.

Wicked Penguin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wicked Penguin said...

Considering the Ticos cost around a billion each, I wonder what the final bill's going to be. Needless to say, the initial estimate includes one captain's career.

This is a kind of off-topic story, but it does involve a ship grounding... and Russians. I thought you might get a chuckle.

About 10 years ago, I visited St. Petersburg, Russia on a cruise ship. For our departure, the Russians sent a harbor pilot to guide the ship out of the port's narrow channel. Here's a Google Maps shot of it. You can see it's a narrow channel.

I was inside the ship, goofing off, when suddenly the whole ship tilted. It was subtle, not quite a lurch, but when I went outside we were at a 5 or 10 degree list. And... we weren't moving.

Our trusty Russian harbor pilot put us aground, only a few hundred feet shy of this famous Leningrad sign which still stands at the tip of the port's entrance channel, right in front of that enormous fuel tank farm. There may have been a wind shift, as a storm was rolling in at the time. You'd be surprised how much effect the wind has on a slab-sided cruise ship.

They called in tugboats and divers. It took a long, long time for them to pull us off, even with the tugs going full bore and churning up the water like crazy. Once we were free, it another while for the divers to check out the ship's hull. In the meantime, our little cruise ship effectively shut down St. Petersburg's port.

I'm not sure what happened to the captain of our ship. Even though we were under the command of the harbor pilot, it's still his vessel. I will say that I think one of the stabilizers might have been damaged, because the transition back across the North Sea was the roughest sea journey I've ever taken. I'm not seasickness prone, and I spent the entire day in bed.

The funniest part of the whole deal were the Russian sailors and dockworkers. A group gathered on the shore on our port side, laughing at us and our predicament, smoking cigarettes (Only feet away from HUGE fuel tanks), and returning friendly waves. Some passengers tossed them cigarettes and booze, as if they needed them - a few were clearly already drunk. I have a picture of them in an album somewhere. I'll never be sure if they were laughing at us or with us, but I'm pretty sure it was the former. :)

Just one more interesting moment in an already fascinating trip to Russia. Hermitage? Check. Nevsky Prospekt? Check. Cruiser Aurora? Check. Running your ship aground and blocking Russia's most prominent northern port and get made-fun-of by a bunch of Russian sailors? Double check.