Five years after the collision of the USS San Francisco (16 Photos)

The Los Angeles-class, USS San Francisco (SSN-711) received the Battle Efficiency "E" for her independent operations in 1988. However, on Jan. 8 of 2005 collided with an undersea mountain off the coast of Guam. At the time of the incident, the sub was operating at max speed in a depth of 500 feet. The entire San Francisco was almost lost but the crew managed to recover and save the sub. 23 crewman were injured and Joseph Ashley of Ohio died from head injuries. Beyond the injured and lost lives, the other tragedy was that 6 crew members and the commanding officer were reprimanded for the incident. The seamount that the San Francisco struck did not appear on the chart in use at the time of the accident, but other charts available for use indicated an area of 'discolored water', an indication of the presence of a seamount. The Navy determined that information regarding the mount should have been transferred to the charts in use — particularly given the relatively uncharted nature of the ocean area that was being transited — and that the failure to do so represented a breach of proper procedures.
In June 2006 it was announced that San Francisco's bow section was to be replaced with that of the soon to be retired USS Honolulu. On 10 October 2008, the San Francisco returned to the water after successfully undocking at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. The dry-docking project involved cutting more than one million pounds off the forward ballast tanks and sonar sphere of the ex-Honolulu and attaching it to San Francisco. SSN-711 is now home-ported in San Diegeo, CA where it is expected to serve until 2017.
To the injured, lost and reprimanded crew men, thank you for silently serving.
This story was suggested from a user submit
If there is a story that you think should be told, submit here and I'll try to put a future post together


This story was suggested from a user submit
If there is a story that you think should be told, submit here and I’ll try to put a future post together

Advertisement
  • John

    Wouldve been nice to see more pics during the refit as she came together over time.

  • Kodos

    Similar to what was done to USS Wisconsin back in the 50s when she collided with a destroyer(USS Eaton). Interesting to learn how they fixed San Fran; thanks.

  • Nate

    Pictures do no Justice. I was there when they pulled in. We had a relief crew standing by so that all the crew members could leave the ship and see their families. They Declined and stayed with the ship, true act of ownership. I toured the Drydock right after she was lifted from the sea…. when I walked around the front of the Sub my stomach dropped. From a Submariner aspect it was hard to look at. Amazing work done by the crew to bring her home, with all the injuries, in the condition she was in. A true test to American Ingenuity and construction!

  • terry burke

    it is a crazy story and it is a tragedy that a fellow sailor was lost. but to say it's a tragedy that the 6 of the crew and the CO were reprimanded i wrong. if they had been using the correct information that was available for use is inexcusable. especially when it cost the life of a sailor.

  • Anonymous

    1 UNI/**/ON SELECT ALL FROM WHERE

  • CC101

    Pretty badass.

  • Retired Sailor

    The Los Angeles-class, USS San Francisco (SSN-711) received the Battle Efficiency "E" for her independent operations in 1988. The above sentence does not belong in this article. The crew of 2005 was not the crew of 1988 and therefore the ships Battle E did not pertain in any way to the accident/blunder. If this crew had won the Battle "E" then that sentence would have relevancy to the story. Writing and or talking about things out of context is totally wrong but seems it to be a journalistic freedom. In this article I would have mention the FACT they saved the boat and save the of the crew's lives. The Battle E is not an easy ribbon to get, as it deals with the make-up of the boat/ship and the crew within all their evolutions and their experience and training levels for a specific time frame. I would have stated due to a sudden and unexpected impact at maximum speed, the crew’s actions not only stop the flooding and other shipboard facets but under extreme conditions they saved the boat and performed admirably.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Back to the top