Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

British sub accident.

Stupid is as stupid does.

I've been on subs that had chlorate candles. My guess is some basic safety precautions were violated here.

The level of ignorance about these items specifically and submarine life in general is pretty evident by the following;

"It's not a candle like you'd think - there's no open flame. It's ignited in a metal canister with a .22 bullet and they burn without any flame.

I don't know how the UK sailors ignite their candles, we always used an abrasive coated nail that was inserted through the candle furnace top, bent and given a good hard twist. The head of the nail was resting on the center of the candle which has a flammable material (potassium superoxide) that ignited from the friction. Shooting a .22 bullet? In an enviornment so confined you can't swing a cat? My ass!! Who was this guy they interviewed? Some YNSN that got disqualed after his first run, and THAT was a dependents cruise?

"Everyone on board will have been trained how to use them. They have definitely been known to explode before - high heat and oxygen is a combustible mix - but I couldn't imagine the force would have killed two men. Something else must have gone wrong.

No, no, and no! Oxygen supports combustion, it isn't combustible itself! Basic high school physics! My guess is the candle may have become saturated with a flammable substance, oil of some sort. THAT would definetly lead to an explosion! Without the introduction of such material that candle would just burn. On the boats I was on it was SOP to examine every candle before placing it in the furnace, doubt if it's really that different for the Royal Navy. And if the candle was in it's "canister" (their version of a furnace) I have to wonder just how securely the lid was fastened. I've known fools to get their faces smacked good and hard because they didn't have the lid secured. And those furnaces are built thick and strong just in case of a stupidity-fueled accident. Again I doubt it's that much different for the Royal Navy.

"The candles line the entire sub and are used in an emergency. Next to each is a pair of asbestos gloves and a bucket of water. If you see the candle is starting to flame or burn, you simply put on the gloves and dump it into the water.

I'd have to wonder about that one. Those of us who have qualified know you don't leave something potentially hazardous lying around for the "children" (sub nonquals in this case) to play with. Come to think of it, wonder if there was any adult supervision going on during the runup to this tragedy. And if a candle started to spontaneously burn you can bet there'd be more involved than "simply put on the gloves and dump it into the water". IMHO all hell would be breaking loose.

"Clean air is your primary concern on a sub and fire is the primary threat. It doesn't take a lot for things to go wrong. It's a very dangerous work environment."

I have to agree with the last. Too many damned fools take too much for granted. Hey, my hair wasn't this gray when I first joined the sub force! And it isn't all age related either!

Seriously, I'll be praying for the sailors and their families.


Old Gary said...

I don't remember "chlorate candles" but I do remember that we had something similar. I was in from 63 to 69. Were chlorate candles introduced after 1969?

Subvet said...

I really don't know. I enlisted in 70 and went through BESS at the end of 71. They were in the fleet then on the nukes and were used as a backup to the oxygen generators. If you're an ex diesel boat sailor they might not have been carried aboard them.

Old Gary said...

I remember something like crystals being spread out on a rack during an exercise. But I could be wrong.

I was on the 522, 603, and 611.

Subvet said...

You're describing lithium hydroxide crystals which were used as a backup for the CO2 scrubbers.

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger with the faulty memory thing. I had to doublecheck on that myself before posting. And I was an A-ganger senior chief responsible for this crap!

They say the memory goes first, can't remember what was next.

Old Gary said...

...then the prostate. Haha.

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