Dangerous Waters

Submarining is a dangerous business. Always has been. It’s inherently dangerous to purposefully sink a ship. We do all we can to make sure the number of dives equals the number of surfaces.

Anyone who’s ever toured a submarine will tell you how packed it is with stuff. We don’t waste any space and everywhere you turn there are components necessary for the ship’s operations. Most of it can’t hurt you. Some of it can.

A sailor has died aboard the nuclear-powered Navy submarine USS Nebraska off the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Few details were released on the death, which occurred Saturday and was described as accidental in a Navy news release Sunday night.

Lt. Kyle A. Raines said in an interview the crew member was mortally injured while the sub was beneath the surface of the ocean. He was given emergency medical treatment on board the sub and was placed on a medical helicopter. but Raines says he died before reaching a hospital.

Raines says there was no indication that a mechanical problem or malfunction was involved, nor was anyone else injured.

The 560-foot Nebraska, one of the Trident submarines that can carry nuclear missiles, is based at Bangor on Hood Canal.

Deaths onboard are rare, but they do happen. There’s discussion over at TSSBP that gives more details, as well as over at Budd’s Place.
Deaths are never easy to deal with, especially when they happen onboard. What’s worse is trying to deal with the pain as the Navy conducts its necessary investigations to determine what went wrong and how to prevent it from ever occurring again. Lots of our procedures are written in blood because of, and thanks to, these very necessary proceedings.

It won’t be easy, but it must be done. My thoughts go out to the Sailor’s family and friends, and to the Crew of NEBRASKA for the trial they have endured, and for those to come.

UPDATE: From the Folks over at Navy Times:

A sailor who died Saturday after he was injured aboard the ballistic-missile submarine Nebraska had become “entangled and pinned” in the rudder ram during a cleaning evolution, according to the Naval Safety Center’s Web site.

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