Military Review

USS Miami Fire - Investigation


What is suggested below is based on a document titled Final Command Investigation Into the Fire Occurred Onboard USS Miami (SSN 755) At the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard At 23 May 2012.


So, USS Miami.

Many, of course, know what it is, but let's refresh our memory.

This is a Type 688 nuclear submarine, the fifth in a row that the US Navy calls the "Improved Los Angeles". That is, according to our classification, it is a "multi-purpose" boat, and according to them, it is an attack submarine. It was laid down at the end of 1986, and already in the middle of 1990 it became a part of fleet our potential opponents, in which she served, she did not grieve until March 1, 2012, when she was delivered to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard plant for planned modernization.

It was there that happened to her историяdescribed in the above document.

USS Miami Fire - Investigation

Similar papers emerge from the secret steel safes of various secret offices, thanks to President L. Johnson, who signed the Freedom of Information Act back in 1966.

As you can see, although there are blots left in the text, the formidable confidential stamp has been crossed out.

I want to warn you right away that this is not a literal word-for-word translation, but rather my presentation of the text I have read.

Further, I must confess that I am not a professional translator, but simply speak and read well in this language. And also, although I have extensive experience in the merchant navy, I have only been in the military navy for a very short time on internships during my studies. We were then given a kind of double education, in case of a nuclear war ... Therefore, in my presentation there will certainly be inaccuracies, for which I apologize in advance to expert employees, but the main meaning will be conveyed to the reader correctly. At least I hope so.

Although, of course, difficulties arose during the translation.

For example, in the text of the document there are specific naval terms and especially abbreviations that the American military is very fond of. I tried to deal with them, and where I came across such misunderstandings, I will give my explanations in brackets.

I will add that I use the term "ship" every now and then, although we are talking about a battleship. What to do - the costs of civic thinking. Well, "doors" sometimes come across - I know that there are no doors on a boat, and there are no doors on any ship or ship. I just translate as it was in the original: once door - is Door, ship - is ship, shipthen so be it. Please do not kick.

A few words about the form of presentation adopted in such reports.

Apparently, there is a generally accepted format for them: first there is general information about the incident, and then the actions and events that led to it are considered, then a detailed report right by the minute, and after that they are distributed to all the sisters by earrings.

I will adhere to this order too.

The lines in brackets are my thoughts on the matter.

I'm starting.

First comes the Preliminary Statement, an initial summary report. But I will not quote him, and here's why.

This part contains a large number of links to interviews of witnesses, verification and research of all kinds of reports, journals, guidance documents and much more. However, the materials themselves, to which the authors of the document refer, are not in the text at all. In addition, everything that will be discussed in more detail in the following parts is briefly described here. So let's not repeat ourselves, but let's move on to the main part.

Finding of Facts

On May 23, 2012, a class A fire broke out at the Miami nuclear submarine, which began in the wardroom.

The crew, the factory fire brigade and the rescue teams from the city fought the fire for 10 hours. Eight people received burns and bruises. Hospitalization was required for one person.

Miami received significant damage to the bow (no attachment - secret). A thorough examination of the wardroom revealed the point of origin of the fire, which contained the melted remains of the vacuum cleaner. In other places in the wardroom, the remains of at least five more vacuum cleaners were found.

The criminal investigation against Mr. Casey Fury revealed that he confessed to deliberately and deliberately setting fire to the wardroom, where he set fire to a bag of rags with his lighter. The vacuum cleaners were next to the rags.

Readiness of the nuclear submarine "Miami" for repairs

The commander of the boat at the time the boat was put into the factory served on it for 21 months, and the senior assistant - 18 months (of course, this does not mean that the commander and senior assistant spent all these months on the boat without getting out. Rather, this is a hint that they knew the ship well enough).

In 2011, the crew of the boat successfully passed all the assigned training tasks with good grades (there are long lists of tasks and trainings - omit), including fire fighting.

In December 2011, the boat completed combat duty and began preparations for factory repairs, in accordance with a special program (again there is a long list). The preparation and training required 1 man-hours and passed without comment. The boat has received all the required documents and permits. Agreements and discussions with the factory management were also carried out successfully and without comments.

Before docking, the boat was prepared: unloaded weapon, removed all fire hazardous materials, including mattresses and curtains from beds. Bulkheads and equipment are covered with protective material. Most of the ship's systems have been drained, de-energized, depressurized, and the reactor shut down. Where necessary, temporary systems of lighting, communication, dehumidification, etc. were used.

The state of the nuclear submarine "Miami" before the repair

A typical nuclear submarine modernization program is designed for 20 months, 12 of which the boat was supposed to spend in dry dock. On March 1, 2012, the Miami nuclear submarine arrived at the shipyard in Portsmouth, and on March 15, 2012 it was put into drydock No. 2 (here it comes into the dock in all its glory. Which made me happy - and for some reason they have similar actions at night , well, just like ours).

A temporary fire alarm system (Casualty Control and Announcing System) was organized on the boat, as well as control and notification of various troubles. I mention it because later on it is often referred to.

A Safety Committee / Board was established on the ship. The task of the council was to coordinate and approve actions that could affect the safety of the ship during the repair. It included crew members, a plant representative and a representative from NAVSEA (this is one of the five special commands of the US Navy, moreover, the largest is the command of shipbuilding and weapons).

Due to the fact that the ship's fire system will be taken out of service during the repair, reels with fire hoses are installed on the deck.

The crew moved to live on a special barge (living barge), moored to the pier of the plant 200 meters from the dock. They went to the boat only as a place of work (in general, we have the same thing).

It follows from the text that during the renovation, great importance was attached to the cleaning of various debris arising from the work. For this, a special team was created from the crew members, which, apparently, followed on the heels of the workers and forced them to clean up after themselves, and strict control was carried out over its activities, both by the command of the boat and by the administration of the plant. The administration conducted weekly checks.

Next, an interesting point comes to light with vacuum cleaners, which at first were mistaken for a source of fire. Any fire hazardous materials were removed from the boat, but this did not affect the vacuum cleaners. They were deemed harmless. And the same Safety Committee was not obliged to control the removal of fire hazardous materials - this is not spelled out in its instructions (ha ha ha - three times).

Further, measures are considered to prevent even the very possibility of a fire on the boat, but everything was in order there and in accordance with all existing rules and instructions. With one exception: at least one case of smoking was reported (a worker was caught with a cigarette in a battery pit and suspended from work on the boat).

Factors Relevant to Watchkeeping

The watchkeeper on the lower decks had to fill out the "Safety Log", recording there checks of the hot work area, the condition of the fire hoses, fire-fighting equipment and checks of the warning system.

During the investigation, three of these watchkeepers were interviewed, who, however, were not on duty on 23 May.

It turned out:

- all the watchmen knew about the vacuum cleaners stored in the wardroom;

- despite the requirement of the instruction "the watchman must inspect all rooms and spaces of the lower deck", there were long periods when no one looked into the wardroom;

- in the instructions there was a requirement that in the absence of an "upper watch officer" the lower watch officer should go up to the upper decks every half hour and check them. There was an upper watchman on the boat, but the lower ones still went up twice an hour. As a result, there were periods when the lower decks were left unattended at all;

- when the living conditions on the boat were violated, and the crew ate, washed and slept on the shore, then at least one person from the Engineering Department watch personnel (MCO in the merchant fleet, and on boats, apparently, BCh-5), according to the instructions was supposed to be on the boat. However, on May 23, at the time the alarm was triggered, all watchkeepers of this unit were on the shore (living barge).

Factors Relevant to Fire Fighting

In the period from 2007 to May 2012, the plant experienced a steady decrease in the number of fires associated with hot work. In 2007 there were seven fires, in 2008 and 2009 - three each, in 2010 there were no fires, in 2011 there were two and in 2012 - one. In all cases, the fire was extinguished either by fire extinguishers or by the efforts of ship crews and factory workers.

In the ship's instructions for conducting exercises, there are no specific requirements for the tactics of extinguishing a fire while the ship is in the dock. In the extinguishing procedure, both at sea and in port, the main focus is on the actions of the crew. There are no specific requirements for extinguishing a fire when the ship is under repair.

The officer in charge of the ship must know the plan of action and the organization of communication with the factory fire brigade. The plant did not provide written instructions on organizing communications and planned actions in the event of a fire, but limited itself to an oral explanation that in the event of a fire, the plant fire brigade takes responsibility for extinguishing. The crew in this case must provide assistance in orientation in the premises of the ship.

Since no special instructions were received from high command, the ship's command developed its own plan, based on plans to fight the fire at the Groton plant (there is the largest shipyard of Dynamic Electric Boats, which mainly built the American submarine fleet. USS Miami was born in the same place, and the now well-known company Pfizer also settled there).

The boat-born leadership stipulated that the ship's crew would fight the fire until they were replaced by the onshore crew. In this case, the management of the actions of the ship's emergency party (this is what our native terms have already come into play) in this case was entrusted to the officer of the watch - until he was replaced by a coastal specialist.

Already at the plant, but not yet at the dock, the crew conducted a training session in accordance with the requirements of the new plan, involving 122 crew members out of 148 and 9 officers out of 18.

There was no additional training for the absent. During the exercise, an electrical fire was simulated with the ignition of related materials on the upper deck of the engine room. After all this preparation was completed, the ship's fire system was taken out of action.

The members of the factory fire brigade spent two hours training during the 24-hour shift. The trainings consisted of lectures or working with computer programs. All of these lectures and programs did not include ship fire fighting.

Note. Here I stumbled - why, then, is there a fire brigade at a shipyard? However, it is written clearly: these topics do not include shipboard fire fighting - in my opinion, the translation here is absolutely unambiguous. Next is a link to Appendix 52 (obscured) and 62, entitled District 8 Firefighter Training Records. That is, the commission examined the entries in the training log and found that the firefighters did not study how to fight fire on the ship. Nightmare. While some of the programs included hands-on exercises, they were only provided to meet the requirements (there is a list of glossed points). In general, it is purely formal. How familiar it is!

Once a year, a smoke trailer was used (apparently, a mobile room where you can blow in smoke and stuff a fireman in a machine so that he remembers how to move around in a smoky room). There was some kind of Mobile Structure Fire Trainer at the factory (that is, a mobile simulator in which, obviously, one could practice extinguishing a real fire), but it was never used, since there was no person in the fire department prepared for its use. The last training session on "live fire" was already in 2006.

Since 2009, the department has conducted 54 drills aboard submarines, but only one case has considered vertical fire propagation. Never used "live" fire hoses from a fire engine, and never used devices to simulate limited visibility.

Interviews with some members of Fire Division No. 6 (New London) and No. 8 (Plant in Portsmouth) showed that firefighters have very limited knowledge of the interior and design of a submarine. The fire department is obliged to conduct monthly inspections of boats under repair. The inspection includes bypassing its premises, checking the fire alarm system and other actions - everything to familiarize firefighters with the conditions on board. The required records and reports of such inspections have not been completed.

The state of the nuclear submarine "Miami" before the accident

All systems in the bow compartments were drained, de-energized, depressurized where necessary, and transferred to the plant. No temporary ladders were installed. Temporary systems are connected (there is a long listing, in which my eyes stumbled over the 440V 400Hz power supply - is it possible that such power parameters are used on the boat? We once had such a thing, but now, as far as I know, it does not apply).

There are two holes cut in the body. The batteries were dismantled, preparations were underway for the installation of VLRA batteries in the storage pits (these are acid batteries with automatic overpressure relief valves). Hot work was carried out in 8 places (enumeration). In the captain's cabin, a hole was cut in the steel bulkhead using an electric reciprocating saw. As a result, a lot of sawdust was formed, which were then removed with a vacuum cleaner (so they went on stage).

At about 13:30 pm, the boat was visited by an assistant civil engineer (I think that is how Project Supervisor is translated in our terms). He later recalled that a sweep was carried out in the torpedo compartment tank... In the stern of the torpedo compartment, two workers were engaged in welding and turbine foundations for the batteries. They were doing this from 13:00 to 15:00 and then they cleaned this place with a vacuum cleaner (the following is a description of several more works carried out in this area, in which vacuum cleaners were used to clean up the consequences).

At approximately 15:30 pm, the forward compartments were visited by the watchkeeper of the lower decks. He recalls that in the wardroom he noticed several vacuum cleaners, plastic garbage bags, a can of 409 cleaner and something else that he could not identify. Later, until the end of his watch, he did not visit the wardroom - although he had to (link to paragraph and article of the instruction).

The emergence and spread of fire

This is a very long section, in which everything that happened is presented almost by the minute. I will omit something that seemed to me not very important (besides, about 5% of what was written, or maybe even less, I did not manage to translate at all, I confess).

16:30 Duty officer (here the abbreviation SDO = special duty officer is used. In my opinion, Americans are very fond of the word officer and use it in relation to such individuals who are not officers in our understanding. For example, any police officer they have an officer, and God forbid to name his policeman. Just as in Germany it is better to call a policeman wachtmeister. Cheaper will come out. So, most likely, this is a crew member specially assigned for a specific purpose - in this case, to keep order during the work) checked the nasal compartments and noticed two workers with turbines near the torpedo compartment, in the bow of the lower deck.

He ordered them to stop work, as the sparks flew far from their place of work. The commander was not informed about this incident (the abbreviation CO is used, which should mean Commanding Officer, that is, the captain of the boat. But I doubt that the commander should have been informed about this. called XO. So I don’t know).

After cleaning the workplace, they were allowed to continue working (in my opinion, this episode is very characteristic and shows that the word of the crew was very significant in terms of safety).

After that, the watchman walked along the corridor past the wardroom and did not notice anything special there.

17:00 The worker finished hot work in the battery compartment, took off his respirator and, it seemed to him, smelled smoke. He informed his fireman on duty (each welder was accompanied by another person with a fire extinguisher), but he did not notice anything unusual. No action was taken in this regard.

17:10 The man on duty on the lower decks (name painted over) went on his coffee break. Contrary to the rules, before that he did not make a round of the premises. In the period 17: 15-17: 20 he passed through the middle deck of the bow compartment and did not notice anything unusual. Having violated this and that (the enumeration follows), he did not visit the wardroom or the corridor near it. Then he went to the upper deck and into 17:22 entered the fan room. There he talked to two workers, at about 17:30 he left this room and went out onto the open deck, where for half an hour he had an official conversation with his foreman.

At the time of the beginning of the events, there were three people on the boat, keeping watch on the lower decks, and all of them belonged to the MCO personnel. Here I will give the original names, because they drove me into a stupor. Here they are: Shutdown Reactor Operator, Shutdown Electrical Operator and Shutdown Roving Watch (every single word seems to be clear, but the general meaning escapes. If I knew the duties of the crew on our boats, it might be easier. Working instructions of American sailors I, of course, I didn’t find, besides, that SRO is the senior watch of reactor control and management. That is, quite a serious position. Well, since I do not know their correct name, I propose to temporarily call them OR - shutdown reactor, VOE - all shutdown electrician, and VBV - all shutting down the wandering watchman. A joke, of course. Out of despair).

All of them belonged to the personnel of the warhead 5 - this is in our terminology, and the main work was carried out in the bow of the boat. That is, these three did not go there, they did not need it. There was no watchman in the bow compartments, because at that moment he was on the open deck, controlling the outer ladder (it is not clear whether there was another watchman). Usually this watchman would spend about 5 to 10 minutes upstairs every half hour.

Further in the text, two people with titles that I do not understand again appear: Engineering Duty Office and Engineering Petty Duty Officer (they refer to technical specialists and seem to be really officers, but who have no right to give orders. These are the troubles they have there).

So, these two, in violation of the instructions, were on the living barge, both at the same time. And according to the instructions, as mentioned above, one of them had to be on the boat.

Now every minute.

17:00 Mr. Fury stopped working with his needle-gun and went to the wardroom area. There he noticed a bag of rubbish and, being in a state of gratuitous anxiety and a desire to quickly go home, set the bag on fire with his lighter. After waiting for the flame to rise to a height of several centimeters, he retired to his place of work.

17:30 Two workers in the ventilator room, having finished their conversation with the watchman, left the room to receive the cargo from the lower decks. Ahead along the corridor, in the area of ​​the ladder leading to the upper deck, they noticed smoke. Instead of raising the alarm, they began to check the pipe passages in the bow and stern of the crew quarters. And they found nothing. Coming out of the cockpit, they noticed thick smoke coming out into the corridor from the wardroom, tried to find its source, but could not - the smoke was very thick.

17:36 The foreman of workshop 56, and with him ... (crossed out - a secret, however) also noticed the smoke when leaving the crew quarters. They shouted "Fire", addressing ... (crossed out) below deck, instructing him to activate the alarm from the torpedo compartment. The alarm in the wardroom was no longer available due to the smoke. According to the rules: anyone who detects a fire must immediately activate the nearest sensor. If this is not possible, call the fire brigade by number 2333 and wait for the firemen to show them the place of the fire.

17:37 Two workers (crossed out) entered the torpedo compartment and told the painter working there to activate the sensor. This was the time stamp when the coastal team received the fire signal. There was almost no smoke in the torpedo compartment at that moment. The painter (crossed out) reported the fire to Mr. Fury, who worked with him, and they both left the compartment, and then evacuated from the ship (the painter-arsonist did not go home, but watched all this confusion from the outside, from a safe distance - that's me already running ahead and citing excerpts from the criminal investigation).

The watchkeeper of the lower decks, who had just changed ... (crossed out) and was on the open deck just before the alarm was triggered, contrary to the firefighting instructions, did not rush down with a fire extinguisher, but remained upstairs all the time the fire was extinguished.

17:38 Two members of the engine crew, who were on watch, entered the bow compartments through the side tunnel. They were the first crew members to respond to the alarm. They did not have breathing apparatus, therefore, due to the thick smoke, they could not identify the source of the fire.

The foreman of the 56th workshop and ... (crossed out) both testify that they saw thick smoke coming out of the wardroom corridor, but did not see the flame. They were evacuated from the boat through the aft emergency exit. The one, whose name was crossed out, told about what he saw to a member of the ship's rapid response team, but his story did not contain an exact indication of the wardroom as the place of the fire. Those two who activated the alarm did not wait for the firefighters, which violated the instructions for fighting the fire.

Glavstarshina (the commander of the rapid response team), who was on a residential barge, having heard the alarm signal, arrived on the boat and began to act in accordance with the instructions (there is a list of what exactly he did). It took him only 1 minute to move from barge to boat. Behind him came those individuals who were not supposed to be on the barge, and also joined in the actions according to the instructions.

17:40 Someone (crossed out) unsuccessfully tried to leave the boat through the torpedo loading hatch. Due to the thick black smoke that smelled of plastic, he returned to the aft and exited through the aft escape hatch. At the same time, the deck foreman who arrived (I do not know who he was), acting in accordance with the instructions, called the factory fire brigade and made an announcement on the warning system: "Fire in the torpedo compartment."

He called the torpedo compartment the source of the fire, because it was there that the sensor was triggered (apparently, the temporary fire alarm and warning system installed on the boat made it possible not only to receive the signal, but also to indicate its source).

The members of the engine crew, turning off all the electrician and the wandering watchman, examined the auxiliary diesel generator compartment, and noted there a small amount of smoke, which allowed them to enter the torpedo compartment without breathing apparatus. They examined the entire compartment, found no traces of fire, but were forced to return to the VDG department due to the increasing smoke. The temporary hatch cover of the EDG compartment (the main one was removed?) After their visit, remained open, which was contrary to good maritime practice.

17:41 An announcement sounded over the warning system: "Fire in the wardroom." The information was obtained from an unknown worker.

17:43 The first fire engine arrived, and soon the rest of the fire brigade, only 13 people. The fire brigade leader took over the leadership of the firefighting. In the wardroom, they began to feed the fire hose from the car, but soon, upon learning that the temporary fire alarm system had received a signal from the torpedo compartment, the foreman ordered the hose to be re-aimed there.

17:44 Two members of the ship's rapid response team in breathing apparatus and with a CO2 fire extinguisher (written - a fire extinguisher; apparently large) entered the boat through the torpedo loading hatch in order to determine the source of the fire in the wardroom.

Having reached there through thick smoke, they did not see the flame and went to the torpedo compartment, since this was the only place that was mentioned as the source of the fire. Soon they left the boat, having exhausted their air supplies.

17:46 The ship's fire brigade arrives on board in full fire fighting gear. They have a thermal imager with them. In the wardroom, they also do not find flames or any hot spots and examines other rooms. The wardroom corridor and three of its offices were not checked. The crew confirms that there is no flame in the torpedo compartment, the Tomahawk vertical shaft compartment, the crew quarters and the battery pit.

A link of the factory fire brigade (three people) with a pressurized fire hose enter through the loading hatch and, accompanied by a crew member, are sent to the torpedo compartment. Finding no fire there, they drag the sleeve to the middle deck, bypassing the wardroom (spellbound).

Someone (the surname is crossed out, apparently a factory firefighter), after discussing the problem of detecting a fire source with the crew members, redirects the fire brigade to the wardroom.

17:50 The Chief of the Boat (the chief boatswain or just the boatswain?) In the apparatus and equipment enters the boat, inspects everything himself (apparently, he is tired of contradictory instructions), confirms the absence of fire on the lower decks and goes to the middle level.

17:55 The factory fire hoses and the hoses pulled by the ship's crew through the same hatch pinch each other. The flow of water stops.

In the incoming reports of firefighters, there is never a mention of the search for a fire in the wardroom, the officer's latrine or the foremen's quarters. The ship's fire brigade # 1 runs out of air and leaves the boat.

17:56 The boat commander arrives and takes over the coordination of the crew and firefighters. All factory workers have left the boat, recounted and are safe.

17:57 The commander receives personal confirmation from the crew member (with a tricky reduction) about the thick smoke in the wardroom area. The lighting in this place does not work. The ship's fire brigade # 2 carried emergency lights into the boat (I wonder if they helped with that kind of smoke?). There is still no flame in the wardroom, but the thermal imager shows a very high temperature in that area. A metallic crackling sound is heard. Someone (crossed out) suggests that there was a flash in the wardroom, caused by some of the materials available there.

18:00 It seems that at that moment some kind of extinguishing agent was discharged onboard the ship was first used on the boat in an attempt to reduce the temperature in the wardroom (it’s not clear what kind of agent is. Bulk extinguishing? It's useless when a lot of holes are cut in the hull. water?).

The chief boatswain took the thermal imager and found the source of the extremely high temperature in the corridor of the wardroom. At his direction, a fire hose was directed there. Due to the overlapping of the hoses, the length of the sleeve was limited.

18:00 The plant reported the accident to the local radiological laboratory (that's right, the boat is nuclear).

The combined firefighters team began to receive signals that the pressure in the breathing apparatus was decreasing, turned off the fire hose nozzle and left the boat. There was no replacement team with its own sleeve - again a violation of the instructions.

The chief boatswain (he seemed to be the most active), getting off the boat, noticed that a new batch of factory firefighters were advancing in the smoke on all fours, repeating the bends of the fire hoses. He tried to direct them towards the exiting firefighters, but one by one the low air pressure alarms began to work in those, and they did not linger.

Thus, both teams lost their sleeves in the thick smoke. One of the members of the new fire brigade broke his ankle, two of them took him upstairs. The rest could not get to the sprayer and flopped there until their alarm started to work. The concentration of smoke in the area of ​​the torpedo loading hatch became so strong that it had to be abandoned.

The navigator of the boat, wearing firefighting equipment and apparatus, entered the boat through the bow emergency exit and ended up in a hole left by two members of the engine crew (remember the two shutdown specialists? There was a temporary wooden cover that they forgot to push behind them). A useful result of his campaign was a report about an uncovered deck hatch.

18:10 The head of the factory fire brigade arrived on the boat and took over the duties of the coordinator. A crew member (crossed out) expressed the view that civilian firefighters use very different terms when navigating the boat and the crew needs time to clarify. It was decided to use an additional white board, on which the translation from the naval language into the common language will be applied.

A crew member (crossed out) made a second attempt to get into the boat, but did not get past the first mate's cabin due to the smoke and heat.

18:21 Someone (crossed out) informed the commander and coordinator that access to the middle decks was absolutely impossible due to the extremely high temperature. The site of the fire has not yet been identified. At this stage, only face-to-face messages were sent to the coordination post, since the wired communication lines were damaged long ago, and the number of portable radios with the same frequencies is not enough.

18:25 The boat commander orders the crew to leave the bow compartments and gather on the deck.

18:26 By the crew of the crew, the door of the side passage to the engine room was sealed with Herkulite to prevent smoke from entering the MO (and I thought Herculite was a material for dental fillings?).

18:35 The entire crew has been recounted, everything is in place. The boat commander and the coordinator decide to try to get to the bow compartments from the stern, through the aft escape hatch and the side tunnel.

18:40 The boatswain and (crossed out) show the firemen the aft passages, and they pull the sleeve 1–3 / 4 inches (something about 50 mm).

18:44 The factory center for emergency situations began to work.

18:50 The boatswain reports on the detection of an active fire in the wardroom and that the drawn hose does not reach the flame - loops and bends interfere, which must be urgently leveled and eliminated.

18: 50-19: 33 The fire is intensifying. Water cannot be used continuously: short routes are inaccessible due to smoke and temperature, and those arriving from the stern waste a lot of oxygen before reaching the fire, and they have to leave before the shift comes. Smoke thickens in the crew mess. Temperature and smoke begin to break through the herkulite putty on the side corridor door.

19:00 The boat commander tells the coordinator that the spread of the fire is the result of the unprofessionalism of the factory firefighters. The coordinator is released from duties (by whom it is crossed out) and sent to work at the emergency center.

19:15 The commander, builder and coordinator (apparently new) decide to close and seal all technological cutouts and holes in the hull (were they still open?), And direct portable fans inside the hull through the nasal emergency exit so that the smoke is blown out through the loading hatch. The goal is to restore access to the boat through the aft escape hatch.

19:30 Someone (crossed out) reports on the imminent impossibility of recharging breathing apparatus directly on the boat. From now on, the cylinders will have to be transported to the charging station in the fire department. The missing cylinders are delivered from the nuclear submarine "Pasadena", located in dock 3. Someone (crossed out) reports that many firefighters are exhausted by heat and smoke, some have bruises and injuries.

19:33 The boatswain was the last to leave the boat and reported that there was no one left inside. Before leaving, the boatswain removed a wooden shield blocking the passage to the MO in order to organize an escape route for those in need.

19: 59-20: 01 The plant is seeking help from the fire brigades of Portsmouth and York.

20:13 Firefighters arrive from Portsmouth. In general, in the course of extinguishing, help constantly arrived from all over the immediate vicinity.

20:15 A sleeve, led through the conning tower, released a cloud of steam where it touched the hull of the boat from the outside. Three sleeves were directed to the body for cooling.

20:20 The boatswain (certainly the most active) led the factory firefighters along with the sleeve through the aft escape hatch. They got to the wardroom and began to fight the fire, and the boatswain went outside due to lack of oxygen. By this time, additional forces and means had already been collected, the tactics of replacing firefighters and fire hoses, accompanied by the ship's crew to the fire site, had been sufficiently worked out.

21:28 The Chief Officer led a team of 8 crew members through the bow escape hatch to replace the firefighters working with the hose. At this point, temporary ventilation, which was previously organized to exchange air and remove smoke from the boat's hull, changed the direction of the air flow. A thick cloud of smoke erupted from the hatchway. Only 5 people managed to get inside.

21:58 The boatswain and the factory firefighters extended two more hoses.

22:15 The boatswain reports that the fire in the wardroom and the corridor has been extinguished. These rooms are too hot to enter. The boatswain, however, managed to get to the upper deck and reported that the fire was still present at the cipher's post (I'm not sure here, but most likely this is how such a specialist should sit in a separate room) and the central post.

22: 30-02: 00 The extinguishing of the central post and adjacent premises continues. Several times the extinguished flame re-ignited. The firefighters' efforts were largely blocked by the inability to use the gangway from the lower deck to the upper deck. The trap was blocked by some temporary service.

22:33 The opening in the port side in the area of ​​the encryption post is reopened to allow smoke to escape.

23:52 A fire brigade arrives from New London and starts work. She soon manages to free the blocked gangway to the lower deck.

03:15 It looks like the fire was extinguished. An open flame has not been seen anywhere, the temperature drops, the smoke dissipates.

04:00 Confirmations come that there are no hot spots left on the lower and middle decks. The last hotspot in the radio room remains on the upper deck.

04:07 The commander authorizes the watch in the Ministry of Defense to remove the portable breathing apparatus and restore normal access to the engine room.

05:50 The fire was extinguished.

The fire lasted 10 hours.

Eight people were injured and poisoned, of which hospitalization was required for the navigator of the boat, who fractured four ribs. Specific damage to the case and hardware are listed in the appendix so and so, the link to which is blackened (secret, however).

Next is a section that lists what a fire brigade fighter should know and be able to do, how, when and how much he should train to maintain his professional level, the organization and content of training, who is responsible for what when extinguishing a fire, how interaction with crew and stuff.

These are, of course, very necessary things, but I am omitting them.

In my opinion, we already realized that something was wrong in the preparation of the fire brigade.

And I will move on to the section called Opinions.


The conditions on the boat at the time of the fire were in no way consistent with the previous experience of those who witnessed and participated in the events. By and large, their reactions and actions when fighting a fire should be recognized as heroic.

The Navy underestimated the possibility and consequences of a fire of this magnitude.

Again, the crew's actions are listed in preparation for placing the ship for repair, and again it is confirmed that they met all the requirements that existed at that moment (this is such a reservation).

The fact that 9 officers and 26 privates did not participate in the fire alarm prior to docking was not deemed to have diminished the crew's ability to fight a fire. The fact that there were only 17 people on the ship with Advanced Fire Fighting training, while it was required to have 27 such people, also did not affect in any way, since a scenario similar to what happened on Miami was not in any training center they didn’t study it anyway (wow, absolutely everyone in the merchant marine has such a certificate).

The onboard fire safety enforcement was exceptional. The fire happened only because the rags were set on fire on purpose. The presence of vacuum cleaners with a housing made of unsafe plastic did not serve as an additional factor in the outbreak of a fire. There are no special requirements for the presence of such specific equipment on board. Such vacuum cleaners are used throughout the fleet.

The presence of several vacuum cleaners stored in one place, in combination with a certain amount of flammable materials, caused the occurrence of conditions that led to an outbreak and subsequent high temperature (what was burning there, it does not say, probably, sawdust of some secret metal that was removed vacuum cleaners).

The fire, however, was not caused by cleaning materials or vacuum cleaners, but deliberate arson. Since no one can in any way predict what exactly the criminal will consider a suitable material, the storage of vacuum cleaners, rags and cleaning products at the same time in one place is not prohibited. In terms of storage of cleaning products, the Miami boat was no different from other ships of the Navy.

The existing procedure for responding to a fire when a ship is under repair is designed exclusively for the human factor: people must notice the fire, determine its location and fight the fire. And this is the vulnerability of the warning system. The use of an automatic system that allows to determine the place and zone of fire occurrence would make it possible to immediately alert personnel and shorten the reaction time.

The absence in the instructions for the lower decks of the watchmen of the item on checking the key cabinet in the corridor of the k-company, the safe for personal weapons and individual safes served as an incentive for the watchmen to transit the corridor, without going into details of what was happening in the wardroom. The practice, in which the watchmen climbed onto the open deck twice an hour, was not required by instructions and was the reason that the premises of the bow of the boat periodically remained uncontrolled (further a bureaucratic squiggle is discussed: if the sentry - Sentry - was not physically present on the open deck, then the lower the watchman was supposed to appear there every 30 minutes. The ship, it turns out, misinterpreted this rule. In general, the old rule says: the more rules, the more opportunities to break them).

The inability to have at least one watchman on board (sorry for the clumsy, but it turns out that way. This is an allusion to the moment when two foremen were on the barge at the same time) could affect the effectiveness of the rapid response to a fire.

The inability of the plant personnel to immediately report a fire after the detection of smoke led to the inability to respond in a timely manner to the fire.

Let's stop here.

There are 15 more pages, but further it is not very interesting. The lack of cooperation between the command of the ship and the chief of the fire brigade is discussed, inconsistencies in the instructions are investigated ...

At least, the document officially admits that it is impossible to foresee everything.

And the final result is as follows

The further fate of the submarine has been discussed for over a year.

Initially, the Navy intended to revive it for $ 450 million using parts and spare parts from the recently decommissioned Memphis submarine. Then a more detailed survey raised this amount to $ 700 million, and just then Congress began to fight to reduce costs ... And it was decided to write off the boat.

On March 24, 2014, she was officially removed from the lists after not serving 25 years.

And what about Mr. Fury?

About a week later, he started another fire, this time not on the boat, but nearby, and with much less consequences. This prompted a more thorough investigation and, in the end, he was forced to confess.

In March 2013, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison and paid $ 10 million to the Navy in damages.

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  1. Anachoret
    Anachoret 6 December 2021 18: 06
    It will soon turn out that the day before, two Russians were actively examining the spiers all over the area))
    1. bistrov.
      bistrov. 8 December 2021 13: 12
      Patroff and Bashiroff ..?
      1. Anachoret
        Anachoret 8 December 2021 13: 37
        They are the most))
        And now Russia has not only the army and navy as its allies, but also Petrov and Boshirov))
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 6 December 2021 18: 13
    About a week later, he started another fire, this time not on a boat, but in the vicinity. In March 2013, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison and paid $ 10 million to the Navy in damages.
    Pyromaniac .. Familiar. I had one like this, the elevators burned ...
    1. Andrey Moskvin
      Andrey Moskvin 6 December 2021 18: 29
      Punished as severely as in the United States? lol
    2. TermNachTer
      TermNachTer 6 December 2021 22: 23
      I think that the elevator, they did not intend to him for 17 years)))
  3. Fisherman
    Fisherman 6 December 2021 18: 19
    Ordinary impunity, coupled with stupidity, leads to hyper-consequences when accessing important objects.
  4. Evil troll
    Evil troll 6 December 2021 18: 37
    There he noticed a bag of rubbish and, being in a state of gratuitous anxiety and a desire to quickly go home, set the bag on fire with his lighter.

    Why not wassat
    1. Vadim237
      Vadim237 6 December 2021 21: 36
      And there are more and more such addicts and sick in the US Navy every year - one arson submarine was written off by the second one with the help of BDK matches, the helicopter carrier burned something that had to be written off - let them continue in the same spirit.
      1. Dmitry V.
        Dmitry V. 8 December 2021 15: 10
        Quote: Vadim237
        And there are more and more such addicts and sick in the US Navy every year - one arson submarine was written off by the second one with the help of BDK matches, the helicopter carrier burned something that had to be written off - let them continue in the same spirit.

        On the night of September 12, 1905, in the aft cellar "Mikasa", which stood on barrel 11 in the Sasebo naval base, an explosion of powder charges for 152-mm took place. guns. According to some reports, 251 people died, according to others 114, 343 people were injured of various degrees of severity. The ship landed on the ground at a depth of eleven meters with a slight roll to starboard, the battleship's spardek completely went under the water, but the superstructures, masts and pipes remained on the surface.

        During the proceedings, it was established that the cause of the fire that ignited the charges in the cellar was an attempt by several sailors, by burning carbonaceous compounds (such as coke), to extract an alcohol-containing liquid based on methanol from the fuel of signal rockets. The process was carried out in a small bath, accidentally overturning which, the sailors poured the burning fuel onto the closed, but not battened down hatch into the cellar.
        Goonies have always been ...
  5. knn54
    knn54 6 December 2021 18: 39
    Immediately evident - "pacifist".
    If then (in this case, the shipyard) the Yankes had problems with personnel, one can imagine what is happening today.
  6. Thrifty
    Thrifty 6 December 2021 19: 17
    This is how easy it is to disable a rags combat submarine and a lighter! lol It is a pity that he did not serve on a nuclear aircraft carrier, the damage to the us fleet would have been greater wassat
    1. Mikhail3
      Mikhail3 10 December 2021 12: 19
      Quote: Thrifty
      This is how easy it is to disable a rags combat submarine and a lighter! lol It is a pity that he did not serve on a nuclear aircraft carrier, the damage to the us fleet would have been greater wassat

      I highly recommend reading The Wasp by Eric Frank Russell. Not just a boat))
  7. paul3390
    paul3390 6 December 2021 19: 18
    For example, any police officer they have an officer, and God forbid to call him a policeman. Just like in Germany it is better to call a policeman a wachtmeister

    Nowhere do they like poor policemen .. recourse And I thought - this is only our folk .. what
    1. Charik
      Charik 6 December 2021 22: 01
      no, it's in the blood of normal people
    2. stankow
      stankow 7 December 2021 00: 09
      Laugh at the expense of the police - classic Hollywood. For 110 years.
  8. Non-fighter
    Non-fighter 6 December 2021 19: 52
    What made me happy - and they have similar actions for some reason occur at night, well, just like ours)

    I confirm - "Kirov" was put in the dock at night.
    The crew moved to live on a special barge (living barge), moored to the pier of the plant 200 meters from the dock. They went to the boat only as a place of work (in general, we have the same thing)

    Not this way. Our entire crew lived on the Kirov at the dock.
  9. CHEREDA73
    CHEREDA73 6 December 2021 20: 00
    The author has done a very painstaking job in describing the problem.
  10. dub0vitsky
    dub0vitsky 6 December 2021 20: 50
    Extraordinary titles to Captain Petrov and Major Bashirov ...
  11. dub0vitsky
    dub0vitsky 6 December 2021 20: 52
    Quote: Thrifty
    This is how easy it is to disable a rags combat submarine and a lighter! lol It is a pity that he did not serve on a nuclear aircraft carrier, the damage to the us fleet would have been greater wassat

    A thrifty man and a lighter in hand .... And a business trip. With payment in foreign currency.
    1. Andrei Nikolaevich
      Andrei Nikolaevich 6 December 2021 21: 49
      I undertake to give the Thrifty one my "zippo". I have been using it for 20 years. But for the sake of such a thing ....)
  12. tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 6 December 2021 20: 56
    First, very good quality American rags. 36 minutes it took to realize that they burn! fool 24 minutes to find a fire? fool It takes another 50 minutes to imitate pulling a fire hose to the cabin, and lo and behold, after 2 hours and 20 minutes, they finally began to fill the fireman with water. In general, they heroically burned the boat. They could immediately drive a petrol tanker and extinguish a rag fire with gasoline. Heroes, everyone had to drive after that with Leave the Boatsman's work. Thank you, I remembered my youth.
    1. Vadim237
      Vadim237 6 December 2021 21: 40
      Yes, they would immediately start to extinguish with nefras - they would be enchantingly "extinguished"
    2. Andrei Nikolaevich
      Andrei Nikolaevich 6 December 2021 21: 47
      You've ruined the crew's entire "heroic impulse". Look, those Indians turned out to be smarter - when a fire broke out on a submarine standing at the pier, they simply fled from the ship.
      1. tralflot1832
        tralflot1832 6 December 2021 21: 50
        They did the right thing, correctly assessed the situation. There were probably no casualties.
        1. Andrei Nikolaevich
          Andrei Nikolaevich 7 December 2021 06: 50
          What "sacrifices" can there be? They have a population of 1 billion.
    3. alstr
      alstr 8 December 2021 10: 34
      I have a stupid question, and that there were no fire extinguishers.? After all, while the fire was small, it could be extinguished with a fire extinguisher.
      1. tralflot1832
        tralflot1832 8 December 2021 10: 40
        This is too complicated a fire extinguisher for American sailors, and the use of volumetric fire extinguishing is generally space, although you just need to close the cabin on both sides and blow inert gas and a mustache into the burning compartment.
  13. KSVK
    KSVK 6 December 2021 20: 57
    ... VLRA ...

    VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) will be correct. Those. yes, valve regulation acid electrolyte.
  14. Magic archer
    Magic archer 6 December 2021 21: 29
    I have another question: how will he repay this gigantic amount ?! belay
    1. tralflot1832
      tralflot1832 6 December 2021 21: 47
      He will write a book "How I Burned a Nuclear Submarine!"
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 7 December 2021 10: 43
      Quote: Magic Archer
      I have another question: how will he repay this gigantic amount ?! belay

      Traditionally: smile
      “You did not obey a direct order and lost a fighter worth 13 million.”
      - Yes you are right. But I pay 10 bucks a week for it. I should have insured him.
      © Hot Heads - 2
  15. Andrei Nikolaevich
    Andrei Nikolaevich 6 December 2021 21: 44
    A fire on a ship being repaired is a frequent emergency. But given the policy of the American media in the crew, sailors Petrov and Bashirov must be present.
    1. tralflot1832
      tralflot1832 6 December 2021 21: 53
      Previously, the Japanese trained them. Then a couple of times McCain and company. There is no practice.
  16. Kesha1980
    Kesha1980 6 December 2021 21: 53
    Mr. Fury stopped working with his needle-gun and went to the wardroom area. There he noticed a bag of rubbish and, being in a state of gratuitous anxiety and a desire to quickly go home, set the bag on fire with his lighter.

    Given the latest trends, Fury may begin the interview that all this happened because of his "search for his gender" (he was in constant dissonance due to the fact that he considered himself a man, but the "soul" demanded to attract attention to himself because of .... etc.). It's funny and stupid, but such excuses are now being rolled out in the courts of the "democratic" states of the United States. Such is the mess - the society is to blame, but it has nothing to do with it, and even the victim. Such is nonsense.

    Thanks to the author for the painstaking work. Fury - thanks for being there) - Russia is grateful to you.
  17. Charik
    Charik 6 December 2021 21: 59
    Our man, but where will he get 10 Lyams for 17 years of turma, maybe our bell ringers, breeders from prisons, would be thrown, they would have taken a meeting, and they would have made a donation from the common fund to be delayed for a good cause lol
    1. Avior
      Avior 7 December 2021 04: 20
      I suspect that 10 million is to make it pointless to try to make money by writing memoirs - no matter how much you get, you will have to give everything
  18. dub0vitsky
    dub0vitsky 6 December 2021 22: 01
    Quote: Andrey Nikolaevich
    I undertake to give the Thrifty one my "zippo". I have been using it for 20 years. But for the sake of such a thing ....)

    Freely, that is, for nothing.
  19. stankow
    stankow 7 December 2021 00: 06
    In general, the crew is great. They fought like a man.
  20. Submariner971
    Submariner971 7 December 2021 16: 02
    The "Memphis" mentioned at the end of the article was lying on the ground next to the "Kursk" ... It is not surprising that it was written off, dragged into the base "by the nostril."
    1. kig
      10 December 2021 03: 09
      Quote: Submariner971
      It is not surprising that he was written off, dragged into the base "by the nostril."

      USS Memphis (SSN-691)
      On April 1, 2011, after 33 years of service, he was removed from the fleet at the naval base in Groton, after which he was taken to Portsmouth NSY, where he will be dismantled for metal in the future. [2] [3]
  21. ycuce234-san
    ycuce234-san 8 December 2021 16: 06
    The presence of several vacuum cleaners stored in one place, in combination with a certain amount of flammable materials, caused the occurrence of conditions that led to an outbreak and subsequent high temperature (what was burning there, it does not say, probably, sawdust of some secret metal that was removed vacuum cleaners).

    Finely ground steel burned. The mistake is that it was not cleaned with a washing vacuum cleaner and immediately taken out. As a result, each of the vacuum cleaners has accumulated several kilograms of the finished thermite mixture of metal powders.
    [media = https: //]