Tracing Paper causes £5million of damage to HMS Trafalgar

#1
How has it gone so wrong?

I have read books about the fabled RN 'Perisher' sub commander course, and they presented RN sub drivers as facking nails superhumans who we should justly be proud of, who crossed swords with Ivan on a regular basis throughout the cold war; winning the battle of nerves under the icy Barents Sea. It seems standards may have slipped Clicky. 8O

This has to be the dumbest and least successful cost-cutting exercise I've heard of.
 
#2
Oh...Navy again....

RemeMber that time they lost a device off of Felixstowe? :D
 

Schaden

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Now, now...could have been worse.....could have surrendered to passing gulls, seals, whales and other arbitary denizens of the deep.
 
#6
Getting some third-hand gen, Perisher students are deliberately made to do the basics 'on tracing paper'

its not a cost cutting exercise...

....but basically a way of ensuring that future Jean-Luc Picards can manage a Nuclear Sub with zero help, at the worst of times.

They each get an iPod for passing the course :p
 
#7
roadster280 said:
Sven said:
Remember the subs that the Canadians were SO satisfied with???

:D :D
Yes, the very same ones. Still, if one does put to sea in a submarine with the hatches open....

Anyway, my point was that the Navy HAVE to put L-plates on nuclear boats to train their blokes. I wonder why the airforce uses urine-ant prop planes for basic flying training rather than putting the bloke straight in a Typhoon? Or we use Corsas or Fiestas for basic dvr training rather than a GBFO truck?
Yes, they were really enamoured with the cracks in the hulls - it gave their shipyards something to while away the hours with.

Weren't they going to sue at one point?

edited to add

This is what ACTUALLY happened to the HMCS Chicoutimi.

Just over a day after it set sail and the problem of all problems had occurred, an electrical fault leading to a fire on board. Although the fire was quickly put out by the crew, the submarine had to surface to get rid of the smoke. Nine members of crew suffered the effects of smoke inhalation.
The alarm was raised by the captain, shortly after 3pm on Tuesday last, when it was 100 miles off the north west coast, drifting without power.
Heavy seas and strong winds hampered rescue operations on Wednesday last that involved both British and Irish ships. The Canadian forces began working with the British Navy to assist in the rescue of the stricken submarine.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Wave Knight along with Royal Navy vessels the HMS Montrose from Faslane and the HMS Marlborough in Plymouth were to the rescue of the HMCS Chicoutimi.
Two tugs, one from the Ministry of Defence and a second, a maritime coastguard were also part of the rescue group.
Overhead, a British air force Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft maintained contact with the crew.
Irish Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea said that the LE Róisín which was on routine patrol off the north west coast,
was also on route to the scene to help the stricken vessel. It had to leave the scene after it damaged its bow in the rescue. It has since returned to duty.
Three air-sea rescue helicopters were also on standby at Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.
The seas were rough (30 knots) and with the submarine on the surface, the crew were suffering extreme discomfort from rolling and tossing around.
The British helicopter carrying the three more seriously injured men had planned to travel to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry but had to divert to Sligo General Hospital as the condition of Lieut Chris Saunders deteriorated while they were being airlifted.
The fire in the Chicoutimi is the latest in a long history of problems with the submarine. It had been plagued with serious mechanical mishaps such as overheating and problems with cracks and leaks.
Link
 
#8
Sven said:
This is what ACTUALLY happened to the HMCS Chicoutimi.

Just over a day after it set sail and the problem of all problems had occurred, an electrical fault leading to a fire on board. Although the fire was quickly put out by the crew, the submarine had to surface to get rid of the smoke. Nine members of crew suffered the effects of smoke inhalation.
The alarm was raised by the captain, shortly after 3pm on Tuesday last, when it was 100 miles off the north west coast, drifting without power.
Heavy seas and strong winds hampered rescue operations on Wednesday last that involved both British and Irish ships. The Canadian forces began working with the British Navy to assist in the rescue of the stricken submarine.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Wave Knight along with Royal Navy vessels the HMS Montrose from Faslane and the HMS Marlborough in Plymouth were to the rescue of the HMCS Chicoutimi.
Two tugs, one from the Ministry of Defence and a second, a maritime coastguard were also part of the rescue group.
Overhead, a British air force Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft maintained contact with the crew.
Irish Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea said that the LE Róisín which was on routine patrol off the north west coast,
was also on route to the scene to help the stricken vessel. It had to leave the scene after it damaged its bow in the rescue. It has since returned to duty.
Three air-sea rescue helicopters were also on standby at Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.
The seas were rough (30 knots) and with the submarine on the surface, the crew were suffering extreme discomfort from rolling and tossing around.
The British helicopter carrying the three more seriously injured men had planned to travel to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry but had to divert to Sligo General Hospital as the condition of Lieut Chris Saunders deteriorated while they were being airlifted.
The fire in the Chicoutimi is the latest in a long history of problems with the submarine. It had been plagued with serious mechanical mishaps such as overheating and problems with cracks and leaks.
Link
That is so riddled with incorrect terminology I have grave doubts over it's accuracy. Some in Canada made a great hue and cry about suing the UK MoD etc. However, I understand, but wait to be corrected, that the subsequent investigation found no fault with the submarine.
 
#10
moving-target-survivor said:
Getting some third-hand gen, Perisher students are deliberately made to do the basics 'on tracing paper'
:? The way I read it, they've used tracing paper so the chart doesn't get covered in scrawl, which they do if you plot your position fixes and DR; presumably the idea of some cleanfreak who hates having eraser rubbings on his plot table. The answer is to not lean so hard on the pencil and use an eraser now and then! Granted charts are paper and wear out periodically, but £30 saved against £5million lost? The dangers of overlaying on the chart have been amply demonstrated; just because it's usual practise doesn't stop it being a bad idea. You don't want to add to the navigation hazards when you're rockhopping, especially when you're underwater. :slow:
 
#11
roadster280 said:
Sven, you appear to be saying the boats weren't up to snuff before sailing.

So do you mean they were never any good even when in RN hands, or that we had let them languish for so long trying to sell them that it was a lack of maintenance?

None of this though is my point, which is that by selling a more basic design, the Perisher courses have to run on Nuclear boats, where before, they were always run on the least capable boat in the fleet. i.e. O boats, and P boats before that.
As was reported in the press - as I linked to and enboldened.

The Canucks were definately not impressed with the deal they got and whinged royally.
 
#12
Never having been in the Navy, I cant argue with you...

...but they way I understood it was that the C&C systems were deliberately shut down to simulate a massive problem

Having been personally instructed never to mark a map, they too may have had genuine reaons for useing 'tracing paper' overlays?

Lastly, when ever have our glorious media every been dispassionate or fair with their reporting?
 
#13
roadster280 said:
Sven, you appear to be saying the boats weren't up to snuff before sailing.

So do you mean they were never any good even when in RN hands, or that we had let them languish for so long trying to sell them that it was a lack of maintenance?
Sven's reference is cack, the canucks had a deck hatch open at sea; a wave broke over the casing, poured down the hatch and soaked an HV distro board, which displayed it's displeasure by bursting into flames. End of. There were many servicability issues caused by the long lay-up period, but the fire was not one of them.

If anything, the Upholders were too good; the goldplated spec meant they cost more than any other diesel sub in NATO, plus as with all good MOD procurement they went over budget. I've never read any complaints about their performance during their brief RN service.

roadster280 said:
None of this though is my point, which is that by selling a more basic design, the Perisher courses have to run on Nuclear boats, where before, they were always run on the least capable boat in the fleet. i.e. O boats, and P boats before that.
I suspect it was a cost thing as much as anything else; cheaper to set aside a diesel boat for training than a SSN.
 
#14
DBLoggie

The story checks out to be from the Sligo Weekender.

The Board of Enquiry says that repair were being carried out to the vent in the conning tower lid (is that the hatch). Is it a common fault?

Here is the Guardian report

Canada's defence minister said today he could not rule out suing the British government over the purchase of four second-hand submarines as an investigation got underway into the fire that crippled HMCS Chicoutimi and claimed the life of one its crew.

Bill Graham said it was possible Canada could take legal action against the Ministry of Defence, which sold the submarines including HMCS Chicoutimi to Canada in 1998. HMCS Chicoutimi was the last of the four to be handed over after BAE Systems prepared them for their return to service.
 
#15
One very basic thought:

Has no one ever heard of Mylar or acetate sheets FFS??
Not quite as cheap as tracing paper but still one hell of a lot cheaper than a nuke.

Surprised to hear all Captain Fancy got was a reprimand. Should have been sent to the beach. I am sure he will never drive more than a desk for the balance of his career and that career will be short but still. In USN a collision is career ending (other than the one in 80's where the captain got medal, promation to squadron command and eventually a flag)
 
#16
Sven said:
DBLoggie

The story checks out to be from the Sligo Weekender.

The Board of Enquiry says that repair were being carried out to the vent in the conning tower lid (is that the hatch). Is it a common fault?

Here is the Guardian report

Canada's defence minister said today he could not rule out suing the British government over the purchase of four second-hand submarines as an investigation got underway into the fire that crippled HMCS Chicoutimi and claimed the life of one its crew.

Bill Graham said it was possible Canada could take legal action against the Ministry of Defence, which sold the submarines including HMCS Chicoutimi to Canada in 1998. HMCS Chicoutimi was the last of the four to be handed over after BAE Systems prepared them for their return to service.
Note the bold - lots of talk before the investigation - all went quiet afterwards. As I understand it, and I got this information second hand, there was no fault that could be attributed to poor design or maintenance. Which is why the results have been quietly sat upon. It was just an unfortunate accident.

As for marking 'maps' etc, before the recent advent of computerised plotting, on surface ships at least you would mark fixes, course, course made good etc (in pencil) on the chart. In training ashore you'd use tracing paper. I was under the impression that a parallel plot would have been kept, to ensure safety of the submarine, but I'm only a skimmer so can't really comment.
 
#17
DavidBOC said:
In USN a collision is career ending (other than the one in 80's where the captain got medal, promation to squadron command and eventually a flag)
But while we have a bump - the USN tends to it in rather more dramatic fashion.



Submarine at full wack vs stationary Sea Mountain (IIRC, the plot was not set at the correct scale and therefore didn't show the Sea Mountain).
 
#18
DavidBOC said:
One very basic thought:

Has no one ever heard of Mylar or acetate sheets FFS??
Not quite as cheap as tracing paper but still one hell of a lot cheaper than a nuke.

Surprised to hear all Captain Fancy got was a reprimand. Should have been sent to the beach. I am sure he will never drive more than a desk for the balance of his career and that career will be short but still. In USN a collision is career ending (other than the one in 80's where the captain got medal, promation to squadron command and eventually a flag)
It wont just be him sailing a desk either. The number of officers far exceeds the number of posts on ships in the navy so all of the navigational students can kiss goodbye to another sea voyage. I feel sorry for the junior officers on the ship as they could well be tainted by their presence on the ship, despite having nothing to do with the accident.
 
#20
DarkBlueLoggie said:
DavidBOC said:
In USN a collision is career ending (other than the one in 80's where the captain got medal, promation to squadron command and eventually a flag)
But while we have a bump - the USN tends to it in rather more dramatic fashion.



Submarine at full wack vs stationary Sea Mountain (IIRC, the plot was not set at the correct scale and therefore didn't show the Sea Mountain).
The damage, oddly, looks a lot like the odd one I mentioned that ended up career enhancing, but that one was with something red and black and wet all over.
 

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