Geez – Not Another One

| January 17, 2013

Details are scarce, but apparently there’s been another incident at sea.

The USS Guardian, an Avenger-class minesweeper, apparently has run aground in the Sulu Sea.  Initial reports are that the ship hit a coral reef at 2:25AM (local) today.

The ship does not appear to be leaking fuel or taking water, and there were no casualties among the crew.  At least, there were no physical casualties.  Not sure you can say the same about  careers.

The ship’s crew are reportedly presently trying to determine the best way to free the ship.


Category: Navy

Comments (59)

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  1. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, if it were an 18-wheeler stuck under a bridge, I would say let some air out of the tires. I got my dad’s car stuck in a snowbank once, but I had just gotten my driver’s license… Oh, road trip stories I could tell. 😉

  2. Old Tanker says:


    PH2, There is a railroad trestle right outside the lab I work in. We get 1 or 2 trucks that get their tops peeled every year. The best was a McDonalds truck….there were frozen McNuggets EVERYWHERE!!

  3. karlen says:

    AP reported they are waiting for high tide today to free it.

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @1. That’s the Navy way, I guess. I understand that the Marines would storm the overpass and dismantle it, the Air Force would bomb it and destroy both the overpass and the tractor trailer, and the Army would just send out the MPs and ticket the driver for stupidity.

  5. SJ says:

    Some comedian (Foxworthy I think…a here’s your sign award) said a stuck truck driver responded to a cop who asked what was going on that he was delivering a bridge.

  6. Anonymous says:

    On my very FIRST patrol as a Military police trainee in Seoul, Korea, my partner ran ahead on foot to grab some guy, and I began driving our patrol car towards him, and as I did so, I failed to see the little ditch crossing the cobblestones, resulting in a broken front axle and an embarrassing story.

    At the time, I was actually in the Signal Corps, but under PROJECT TRANSITION, was being trained by the Military Police for prospective future employment as a civilian police officer.

    Years later, while working for the Department of Defense Police in Ogden, Utah, once again, on my very FIRST patrol, i observed another patrolman at the far end of some warehouses and figured I’d drive over and say, “Howdy!”

    However, in turning on what I thought was a smooth, snow covered road, I high centered the patrol vehicle on the railroad tracks (which fortunately, weren’t being used).

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, it’s wood and fiberglass, just like a yacht. Run some sails up the masts, wait for a prevailing wind (always from the west), find a friendly seagoing tug to help, and pull that beached whale off the reef.

    For Pete’s sake, doesn’t the Navy train people in blue water seamanship any more?

  8. Anonymous says:


    I ain’t “ANONYMOUS”!!!

    I’m John Robert Mallernee at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi.

  9. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @7. For Pete’s sake, doesn’t the Navy train people in blue water seamanship any more?

    Yes, but PowerPoint may not be as good as hands-on.

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    Yes, AirCav, and apparently the PP presentations don’t include how to read navigational maps, which DO include the presence and locations of coral reefs and other marine hazards.

    MCPO NYC, when are you going to chime in on this debacle?

  11. Edward1811 says:

    I’m a former SWO, and I can tell you that they don’t train these guys to drive ships anymore, no seamanship. I was lucky enough to have an old school Captain who let his JOs take the deck and actually drive. No bearing orders allowed, only rudder orders from the Conn.

    Minesweeper’s are littoral ships too, they should know better. I guess they were too busy sailing their grid to see the reef. Only slightly less embarrassing than hitting a mine…

  12. eh! The USN puts in Millions of miles at sea w/o a scratch and you folks make it sound like the Titanic sank again.

  13. Hondo says:

    Understood, Zero. But there does seem to have been more of these lately than the norm. That’s 3 incidents at sea (2 collisions, 1 grounding) during the past 6 months.

  14. Edward1811 says:

    Not saying this is the problem in this case but gutting SWOS and pretty much removing all seamanship training combined with COs who won’t give up the deck during any special evolution is leading to a generation of SWOs with crappy skills.

  15. B Woodman says:

    Ex-PH2, et al,
    We’re asking for blue WATER seamanship, not blue SCREEN (PP) seamanship.

  16. Chip@NASA says:

    Get Out and Push.

  17. Edward1811 says:

    #16, I think you mean get out the oars and pull…

  18. Mr. The Wolf says:

    Toss all the fat Chiefs over; that should give them an additional inch or two of float…

  19. James says:

    18 – Hey watch out – the belly comes with the pass to the goat locker and the coffee cup. You cant have one without the other!

  20. jerry920 says:

    Wait a minute. Isn’t this ship designed to detect underwater things? It’s a minesweeper ‘innit?

  21. Edward1811 says:

    18 – I’m not going near that one. I’m only an O-3, the chief’s mess would eat me alive.

  22. CBSenior says:

    @18 and 19. When was the last time you were in the Navy? Secondly they give us a coffee cup to drink coffee, that way we do not fall asleep listening to all the bleeding asses about how full their diaper is and I can’t do this and I can’t do that. Ya that never gets old.

    Bravo Mike Boys!!!!!!!

  23. NHSparky says:

    That’s 3 incidents at sea (2 collisions, 1 grounding) during the past 6 months.

    Back in the bad old Cold War days, that’d be considered a slow day.

    Yeah, there are a lot of people who will go bye-bye over this, like the CO, NAV, OOD, and whoever was responsible for annotating the charts (if the reef was in fact on the charts–wouldn’t be the first time it wasn’t.)

    But shitcanning CO’s for next-to-nothing recently is Big Navy’s “de rigeur”, considering we’ve got more admirals than ships, and with this Oconomy, not many JO’s are getting out, so there’s a nice long line of screened officers who get to play now.

  24. Spade says:

    I knew the prohibition on spice was a bad idea.

  25. Jabatam says:

    You scared me Hondo…the title made me think there was another mass shooting

  26. Ex-PH2 says:

    Yeah, I was checking out the programs at GLakes, which, as you may or may not know is the Navy’s only remaining boot camp and is located on Lake Michigan, which has enough room to accomodate a ship, and I don’t think (unless this has changed) that the sailors and gyrines are getting any on-deck time at all now. The boot uniform is no longer dungarees, it’s now ‘peanut butters’ – khakis.

    I weep for my old Navy. 🙁

  27. Reaperman says:

    @26 There’s just some kind of simulator inside a building. It’s mostly for practicing mooring and communication, though. That was 2002, so my info may be dated. Back then I had heard they might be adding fire and flooding to it in ‘the future.’

  28. DaveO says:

    I wonder if there was a pod of whales nearby, discussing lunch, and caused the ship to beach itself?

  29. Bam Bam says:

    What’s the big deal? Just get a big 2×4 and wedge it under there. Should be enough sailors to create the required leverage…

  30. Roger in Republic says:

    Marine charts show shoals, that’s shallow water for all of you lubbers. GPS doesn’t. Navigation is more than just following a course bug. Coral reefs do not grow over night, as some sandbars can. The captain, officer of the deck, conn officer and navigator might as well jump overboard. It might not lighten the ship enough to float her, but it will save the time wasted on the inevitable boards that will be convened. Chart reading seems to be a lost art.

  31. Ex-PH2 says:

    This incident is actually so dumb, I’m putting notes on it into my B&B file.

  32. S6R says:

    @24 The Spice must flow.

  33. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    I thought the Navy put breathalyzers on all their ships and boats?!? Someone’s in for a DUI!?!

  34. USMCE8Ret says:

    @27 – Really? No more “flood/fire” training? I thought that would be a main-stay.

    A good buddy of mine attended the NTC San Diego (back in the mid-80’s) said that was the most realistic training he remembers doing, and it was challenging. He was at NTC SDiego while I was at MCRD SDiego. He was off to the fleet before me, but he had some interesting stories to tell nonetheless.

  35. Twist says:

    @32 Hello, ladies, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a boat with the man your man could smell like. What’s in your hand, back at me. I have it, it’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again, the tickets are now diamonds. Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I’m on a horse

  36. Ex-PH2 says:

    The reef where the Guardian snagged herself is the Tubbatha Reef, a protected wildlife area off Palawan.

    Perhaps the Navy could inform its COs-at-sea to watch where their going. There are big sharks in that area.

  37. Adirondack Patriot says:

    “The ship’s crew are reportedly presently trying to determine the best way to free the ship.”

    More like “The ship’s crew are reportedly presently trying to determine the best way to salvage their careers.”

  38. Reaperman says:

    @34 we had both, but they were in other areas, not added to this fancy ‘half a ship’ in a building. I’m not sure I agree with putting it all together–that’s fewer buildings for recruits to jog between in the middle of the night.

  39. Never stood a bridge type watch so I can’t honestly comment. I was in so long ago that we had to learn how rig the sails. etc.

    Seriously though; damage control training was regular.

  40. FatCircles0311 says:

    US Navy has been relieving commanders at the cyclic rate for years. Now these sailors are giving them actual reason to do so now.

  41. ron says:

    @4 i’m checking my old citation book, and my FM’s, and i can’t find a reg for stupid—i’ll keep looking, though—an MP must be diligent!

  42. pete says:

    just imagine the incidents we never hear about! yikes

  43. El Marco says:

    Hey skipper, those red flashing lights on the con are career termination lights…..

  44. Bubblehead Ray says:

    Just sit right down and I’ll tell a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…

  45. Hey, Ex-PH2:

    Are you that gal that lives across the hall from me?

    I’m in C-737, and she is in C-705.

    I won’t mention her name, but she was in the Navy, and when we were traveling on a Mississippi riverboat in New Orleans, she told me she had sea duty on a Navy warship.

    Apart from that one brief instance, I almost never see her or talk to her.

    Being rather reclusive, I almost never see or talk to anybody.

    I don’t know what her Navy job was, but she likes to photograph public events here at the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

    At the moment, she has her door all decorated for Mardi Gras, and at Christmas, she sets up a big ol’ battery powered electric train set, which I like playing with, under our big Christmas tree in the main lobby.

    I apologize if this message embarrasses you.

    A guy wouldn’t think anything of it, but you’re a gal, and gals are different.

    The coincidences have me curious.

    Thank you.

    John Robert Mallernee
    Armed Forces Retirement Home
    Gulfport, Mississippi 39507

  46. obsidian says:

    Scuttlebutt says it was a naked Chinese soldier who was considered quite hot as she stood guarding a little point of rock sticking out of the Sulu sea around the spratley islands.

  47. Ex-PH2 says:

    @46 – John, that is not me. I live in northeastern Illinois, not too far from my old stomping grounds at NS Great Lakes (sometimes referred to as Great Mistakes).

    Re: the USS Guardian: if this weren’t so pathetic…

    The Tubbataha reef is clearly marked on navigational charts as a PI national park. Shallow waters are no excuse for sheer stupidity. I think these sailors owe the local schools of fish an apology.

  48. NHSparky says:

    Drillin and killin is what we called it. Or if we were doing ORSE workups, we got so little sleep the month prior we just called it the Vulcan Death March.

    There are big sharks in that area.

    Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte… just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that when you’re in the water, Chief? You tell by looking from the dorsal to the tail fin. What we didn’t know, was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it was kinda like old squares in the battle like you see in the calendar named “The Battle of Waterloo” and the idea was: shark comes to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the shark will go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living… until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they… rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon, the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He swung in low and he saw us… he was a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come in low and three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and starts to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened… waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

  49. SJ says:

    @47: nice play on the Rhine River and the Maidens.