Monday, December 19, 2011

BM1, report to the XOs office


When I read this and saw the pic at gCaptain - I frankly could not believe it .... well ....

This is a warship. A warship of the United States Navy. Here is a bit of the story.
On Monday however, the pilot assigned to the USS Howard, a guided missile destroyer stationed in San Diego, experienced the surprise of his life.

A few miles out to sea, the pilot boat operator approached the warship, but immediately noticed blatant safety issues needed to be corrected. Noting the poor state of repair of the ladder hanging over the side, the pilot boat requested its replacement.

After the swapping out the bad ladder, the pilot began his climb up the vertical grey-painted steel. Upon reaching the very top rung, disaster struck and the ladder slipped over the edge about 2 feet.

The knots tying it to the ship had failed.

Losing his footing, the Pilot held on to the ladder with one hand until finally his grip let go. He fell approximately 18 feet to the wavetops.
Over at gCaptain, Rob has seven very good questions. I'm still in shock - I can add more. You?

C-14, what does an ISIC do with a photo like that coming through the NIPRNET from the pilot service company?

I hate to sound like this sounds but it is a fact - that ladder and knot problem would not happen on a Royal Navy or Royal Netherlands Navy ship. No. Not. Never.

Hat tip SP.

98 comments:

Eric Palmer said...

Maybe the person responsible for the security of the ladder had not properly accomplished their recurrent diversity training.

MAJHAM@GTMO said...

My father, a QMCM before taking a promotion to Warrant to become Bosun of the USS Albany would be horrified.  He always said "Give me enough rope and I will tie up the world".  That there is some piss poor lashing.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

BM1........fuck that.  OPS, lay to the pilot house.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

No money for Deck Academy or BOSN A school...but we got cash for the Trans-sexual Currently Self Identifying as Female Pacific Islander of Non-Asiatic Persuasion Bi-Curious "engineer" of the Year Awards!

Anonymous said...

show cause hearing.

show cause hearings for all.

Vigilis said...

Dollars to donuts whoever rigged that ladder over is really good at important (to him/her) stuff like texting and twittering. Future sailors will prpbably be unable to sign in cursive. Should make for interesting contracts, training certs, and advancement rituals.

SouthernAP said...

but, but, but I did complete with 100% my NKO knot tying qualifications and with a 95% my NKO how to secure a jacobs ladder to the side of a ship course as laided out in the ship's training plan. Just check with the training officer, she has copies of all the NKO certs in file 13. It should have worked, besides I was just CAP'd to BM1 from BM3 because of manning shortfalls so I didn't get a chance to learn after 1st Div BM1 was RIF'd following the post Operation Red Phoneix drawdown

Perry said...

Whenever something, good or bad, happens that puts a Navy ship in the news, I generally look at the ship's web site and check out the CO/XO, to see if I know them.  I was struck by some things that seemed strange about the CO of the HOWARD:

(Note:  All my times in this may have changed since I was on active duty, so if they have, please correct me.)

- She's YG-95 and she fleeted up from XO, meaning she showed up around the 15 year point.  I didn't think that most officers were getting to their XO/CO ride until the 17-18 year point.  If I'm right about the average time of reporting to XO/CO tour, how did she get so far ahead of her YG?

- Almost four years as a DIVO, which isn't too bad.

- She left shore duty to go to DHS school in May of 2002 and had completed her DH rides by January 2005 ro report again to shore.  Considering 6 months at DH school (complete November 2002), the Aegis pipeline (another 3 months at least, maybe more - February 2003), that is less than 23 months in the DH ride.  She served as Weps/CSO, which is supposed to be a 36 month tour.

- She served on three ships on that 23 months as DH - I guess she was on Sea Swap ships.  That might have a hand in a CO having a poor understanding of proper material conditions.

- Her education (although whehter that has to do with ship's readiness, I don't know - just a comment) is a BS in PE from what was rated as the best party school in the country when she graduated and University of Phoenix in education.  I would have expected more engineering problems from that pedigree.

It will be interesting to see what happens as a result of this.

John said...

That is so farking outrageous that there should be another C.O. relief within days!

Judging by the copious rust, the sloppy lifelines and the Jacobs' Ladder, this ship is a basket case with incompetent leadership, or has been denied the necessary resources by higher levels that they should be fired instead of ship's company.

ISIC- lay to the Admiral's office!

But, I fear we are just seeing the results of what happens when "Diversity is priority number 1" instead of keeping ships ready to go to sea and fight.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

The pilot ladder should NOT be tied in place.  An eyesplice should be made in the upper line at the appropriate length above the top step on either side to position the ladder at the correct distance below the deck edge.  Shackles (galvanized and never painted, weight test required, metal tag attached to verify before EVERY use) should be used to connect the eyesplices to the upside down U's (like a U-bolt) welded to the deck near the deck edge.  The bent spreader bars and defective steps can be replaced individually and are commercially available worldwide, the design is International Maritime Organization standardized and required by IMO regs for use by Pilots world wide. New ladders are in stock commercially any seaport of any size.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

This is an inspect before use item, on merchant ships, usually by the Chief Mate or other experienced Deck Officer, possibly the Ship's Bosun if the Captain concurs. I believe there is an MRC card, but it's been quite a while.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

USS MOE HOWARD, presumably and alas.

ewok40k said...

ouch!

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Upside down "U"s welded to the deck.  Not identical, but similar to a pad eye?

Mark T said...

If this is their deck rigging, imagine how poorly that ship would fight. We've traded our national security maritime capability for females in leadership, transexuals at quarters, and enough people of color in the wardroom. At least the death and dismemberment stats will be properly represented. Keep moving all you ghosts of warfighters past, nothing to see here, just the legacy of admirals with more agenda than spine.

Byron said...

I've been telling everyone here for a LONG time that basic skills are wasting away. I've seen issues like this for years now. I know I told the storry of how one ship had to ask our riggers to splice some handlines for them. I know I've told you that I've seen EM2's that didn't know the location of breakers and switches to kill power during a lock out/tag out procedure (which makes you wonder how this would affect the ship in a real life damage contrrol situation). I've told you many things that makes this CIVILIAN WHO'S NEVER SPENT A DAY IN THE FREAKIN' NAVY how screwed you are. And now you believe me? Sweet Jesus wept..

I hope you assholes in the Pentagon are happy with yourselves and the push button Navy and how its working for you....

Anonymous said...

6231/002 R-6, inspect before each use.  Pure and simple gundecking.

N6SWORET said...

ISIC?
<p><span><span><span>It is good to kill, from time to time, an admiral to encourage the others</span></span></span>
<span>Voltaire</span></p>

Byron said...

They're called, "Staples".

ewok40k said...

if that happened in the PLAN - and on a foreign visit so unable to suppress the info - CO would be lucky to spend next few years in Outer Mongolia labor camp...

Byron said...

"And I want the First Lt. and that lard ass BMSC up here too. When the HM gets done with the pilot we almost killed, I'll need him up here too to make sure these stupid bastards don't die before their General Court".

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Indicators.  In this case, negative ones.  Indicators of command emphasis, dedication of junior leaders, attention to detail of all, including non-rate sailors. 

Once many moons ago, at the FA Officer Advanced Course, a (very) junior Army Captain had made hash of his manual gunnery exam.  He was complaining about having to (re) learn it from the basic course, as we now had computers for all that, and didn't see how an error of 0.1 in fuze setting was a reflection on his professionalism.

It was the only time I saw my small group instructor get angry.  A RCHA Major just out of combat in Africa, he let the poor lad have it.  Oh, but for his counterpart on this US warship.

Cupojoe said...

"Also we will discuss our ongoing problem with the US Navy on rigging pilot ladders and will update everyone on what steps we have taken."

ONGOING problem?!?!  There are others?!

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

nominally I'd say "you had me at bi curious" but when you start throwing transgender currently self identifying as female, ya lost me.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

nominally I'd say "you had me at bi curious" but when you start throwing transgender currently self identifying as female, ya lost me.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

Holy Cow!

IDG86 said...

This conversation has lept from the BM1 to the CO. Where's the Chief??  Don't give me a bunch of baloney about minimum manning, etc. Somewhere on that ship, there is a Chief Petty Officer assigned to supervise and mentor Deck Division, even if the Chief is not a Bos'n Mate. The glaring issue here is deckplate leadership and a failure to inspect what we expect. The Chief should be on the deck ensuring that their Sailors properly rigged the pilots ladder. The Petty Officer in Charge (also known as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge elsewhere) should be reduced in rate for poor rating knowledge and needlessly endangering a person's life. This is a failure up and down the chain of command but we can't just skip over the role and responsibilities of the Chief.

Old Nuke said...

ISIC:  Immediate Superior in Chain of Command??

Old Nuke said...

It interesting to note that her assignment prior to being selected as CO was XO of the same ship.  Now, I understand that the brown-shoe aviators do this, but never have I heard it in the suface Navy.

Additionally, I note that NONE of her tours were in engineering.  Every CO should do a tour as either a DivO or DH somewhere in an engineering billet.

LT B said...

This whole pilot ladder thing is new.  I also hear we are working on a way to refuel ships as they drive side by side.  There is something newly discovered called the Venturi Effect.  We must study how to defeat that first though.  NKO training will be forthcoming. 

LT B said...

your complaint has been electronically saved, lean six sigma flow charted and incorporated in the next NKO training, civilian.  Be at peace the Navy is the Global Force for Good and you may feel at ease that we attempt to hurt nobody's feelings.  (deity of choice) bless you, and if no atheist, we are going green to save the earth. 

LT B said...

Do we count the transexuals in the 'dismemberment' stats?

LT B said...

Immediate Superior In Command

Cap'n Bill said...

Such blatent failures in bsic skills call for very bright ligjhts to be focsued on the correction.
Off hand I'd suggest an Admiral's Mast to be held in the form of a School Call, with at least three petty officers and three ship's officers standing at rigid attention.   Woe is me.

cdrsalamander said...

<span>ON,  
That was part of the "new navy" started a few years ago.  Another sign of SWO inferiority complex to aviators I guess.  
 
Actually, there are good arguments on both sides. Me? I'm kind of in the middle.  It would be OK with me if we had more LT and LCDR commands for our officers .... but that parallel universe isn't mine.</span>

Spade said...

From a comment over at GCaptain: "This sort of thing makes me believe there should be more MSC personnel on these ships to actually do the sailing portion of the job. This could increase safety and competence while lowering the overall manpower cost by replacing redundant Naval personnel with professional civmars. Let the Navy personnel run their weapons systems, intelligence duties, and other war-specific tasks...leave the actual sailing to the professional mariners."

Ouch.

John said...

Pun intended?

Anonymous said...

Not to mention computer based training in lieu of A and C schools (I don't know about the rest of you, but I've had little success in asking computers questions or providing clarification in the 30+ years I've dealt with the things), right sizing the fleet (wonder how many senior BMs were in this latest round of petty officer discharges) and a shift of focus away from seamanship, in general (used to be, even the officers learned to tie proper knots, if for no other reason than to be able to supervise these sorts of evolutions effectively). My divisions had to rig pilot ladders and similar devices many times over the years, we somehow managed to not drop anyone over the side, in the process.

Shadow

Anonymous said...

Ouch is right.  Beyond this, what else would outsiders think when they look at a Sailor in uniform and don't even know its a Sailor in uniform... just some kind of military person.

FOD said...

Whoops, didn't login, That was me

The Usual Suspect said...

Here is the Marine it is named after:

http://www.militarymuseum.org/HowardCMH.html

LT B said...

I sail w/ Merchies, and have found them in many aspects to be better ship handlers.  Granted, our ships are so specialized, they are really easy to handle, but still, they are held to a standard.  For instance, you will see a third mate right out of school given a watch with minimal supervision on the bridge.  Far more seaworthy than most ensigns.  There are night orders, and direct lines to the captains if needed on those ships, but the bridge is far less cluttered with people and noisy reports.  It is definitely a different world.  One of the ship's masters with whom I sailed is a former O5 SWO.  He said, "My stateroom has a recliner.  It took me forever to feel comfortable enough to actually sit in it and do work or just relax for a bit."  I would say the cultures might clash, but we are losing our culture every year we focus on the stuff that is not fundamental to going to sea, flying at sea, etc. 

Marvin said...

This has nothing to do with the CO's knowledge of engineering. This is a complete lack of supervision from the Type Commander to the ISIC to the CO to the XO to the DH to the 1st Lt to the leading Boatswainmate.

I would be terrified to go to sea on that ship. Look at the lifelines.

The Engineering spaces are most likely an explosion waiting to happen.

Byron said...

You wouldn't believe the stupid stuff sailors do to Kevlar lifelines, like tighten them up so hard they bend the stanchions which require us yardbirds to replace the stanchions. I stood there while an officer gave a chief hell about slack lifelines. I was there doing an inspection for that same job and just happened to have the print. I interrupted the ass-chewing and asked the officer to please look at this general note which said, "Lifelines should have between 1 and 2 inches of sag". Officer didnt' care, he wanted his lifelines to be tight so the ISIC would have a warm fuzzy when he drove down the pier. I just shook my head.

Jesus wept. You SWO's are so screwed it ain't funny.

Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span>At least the death and dismemberment stats will be properly represented.</span>

Perhaps not...

pk said...

how about the entire first division?

C

pk said...

many years ago i was razzed a bit because i did not leave at least six inches at the bottom of a contract for signature. the thought back in the five sided puzzle palace was that all contracts signed in california were signed with a spray can.

James said...

Sigh....

It all makes perfect sense if the people incharge of the navy believe it will never fight again.

US military is a mess.

AND NO. Its not because of george bush and "His war" its because there has been a basic break down in the military culture. Right now the Navy and the airforce seem to be the two most in need of a sharp quick kick in the ass.

And the truth the Navy lacks the balls to do a damn thing about the real causes. That would be the people incharge of turning out promoting and training these sailors and officers.

pk said...

does the ship have a BLUEJACKETS MANUAL somewhere??

whatdid they do RIF the bosun that can read????

WTF over.

C

Mike M. said...

I'm not sure it matters.  My grandfather's 1943 Bluejacket's Manual was a treasure trove of information.  Physical training, swimming, first aid, knotting and splicing, boat and deck seamanship, basic navigation, etc.  Hell, it had detailed instruction on maintanance and use of the M1911 pistol and the M1903 rifle - and a chapter on landing party tactics.  Better than a Boy Scout Manual.

The current edition...not so much.

Mike M. said...

I'm not sure it matters.  My grandfather's 1943 Bluejacket's Manual was a treasure trove of information.  Physical training, swimming, first aid, knotting and splicing, boat and deck seamanship, basic navigation, etc.  Hell, it had detailed instruction on maintanance and use of the M1911 pistol and the M1903 rifle - and a chapter on landing party tactics.  Better than a Boy Scout Manual.

The current edition...not so much.

Mark T said...

Thats the funniest thing I ever heard. Seriously.

MR T's Haircut said...

Brondo.. it's what plants crave.  Brondo has Electrolytes...

Old Farter said...

I really wonder who was supervising. Wouldn't the 1st LT , Bosn, or Safety Officer be at the top of the ladder to escort the pilot to the bridge?  I doubt he/she would stand by as the knots came undone and watch the pilot fall into the sea?  Everyone above E3 involved from the first ladder going over the side to the pilot falling in the water should be fired.  There must be a lot more to this story. Waiting for the IG report.

I?TFP said...

Wow, considering that the Navy's ship drivers can't pull into and out of ANYwhere without pilots they might want to either start to learn how to navigate like they once did or make a better effort to get the pilots on board.  $28 million needed to develop a new safety system to get pilots on board.

I?TFP said...

they can't even keep brightwork clean, most of it is painted over.  so of course they can't handle knot tying

sid said...

What?!?!?!

You mean that TSCE didn't fix this problem?????

More Diversity Training ASAP!

Boat School Grad said...

Maybe the CO is Kara Hultgren's kid sister.

sid said...

All well and good that Greenert is reemphasizing Warfighting...

But dammit.

You gotta be a competent Mariner FIRST!

sid said...

Was that an earthquake?

Nah...Just these guys spinning in their graves...

XO said...

If this happened in the Russian Navy, the CO would be looking at doing time in a Siberian outpost for years to come

Anonymous said...

<p>Nice to know things have not changed that much at FA school. I graduated from FA BOLC about 2 years ago and they are still teaching and testing manual Gunnery the same old way. I was not even allowed to see a computer until i had mastered manual gunnery and passed 2 or 3 tests on it. Maybe because i had a Marine capt as an instructor. I still have to take tests on manual gunnery every 6 months even though my unit does not use it, we use AFATDs. 
</p><p> 
</p><p>As a JO, i will say this some O1 or O2 just really really F-ed Up for 2 reasons. 1. he/she should have been there to observe (not to run the evolution, the NCOs job but to supervise) 2. a JO needs to know and evaluate their NCOs competence. If the NCO was not there or did not do the detail properly then the JO was derelict in there duty.
</p>

ewok40k said...

exactly, ships lost in a first storm or ran aground due to nav errors are certainly not a threat to enemies...

Grandpa Bluewater said...

I was writing for the peanut gallery, Byron.  Padeyes are OK, but you can slide a staple's leg between the throat of a shackle, rotate the padeye 90 and put the pin through the eyesplice. Quick and secure.

It has a lower fumble factor when the bridge is antsy and the pilot boat is in the approach.

I used the standard commands for a lifeboat under oars from my grandfather's pre WWI BJM to study for my lifeboatman's endorsement to my AB Z card, which bumped up my pay while I was getting 90 days recency I needed to get a seat in the license test for my original Chief Mate ticket. Nothing had changed a bit.

You can get the IMO diagram from the manufacturer if you talk pretty and then hold school of da boat while the sea detail is standing around swapping recommendations about the local gin mills with privileges.

We used to train at every random chance and then document some of it to keep the notebook nazis from the Squadron happy.  Outlook seems to have strayed a bit.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

oops, rotate the shackle 90, don't know how that padeye snuck in. Sigh, getting old.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

In other words, the Commodore. Commode Door, sotto voice.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Mighta been her big sister in big sister's salad days as a mere Commodore.

Byron said...

And for Gods sake rotate the shackle pin half a turn when you get to bottom! :)

(if you tighten a shackle all the way to bottom and put a load on it, it's a bitch to get loose...sometimes, impossible)

QMC(SW)(ret) said...

On at least two of my ships I can remember specifically that the job of pilot escort was an assigned JO watchstation on the sea and anchor watchbill. On other ships it was one of the deck dept. officers.

Marine6 said...

But I'm willing to bet that they are right up to date on ALL diversity requirements. After all, we all know what CNO's first priority is these days.

Naval_Historian said...

I'll demonstrate my ignorance; what exactly happened? That ladder looks OK to me. Background: I have spent 95% of my at-sea time in a CVN weapons magazine. Ordies have no Sea and Anchor Detail station, and all we do for GQ is run the elevators for mass casualty. As goes all that boat stuff, we're passengers.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Byron: been known to happen. I'm going to go completely unreasonable on that one and say put a little finger dab of grease on the pin threads - just a touch, and use a slightly bigger shackle as well as not torquing the pin. but if prevention isn't your bag, penetrating oil (which WD40 isn't a good grade of) and a pipe wrench (not a small one) to grab the shackle and a marlinspike thru the pin's lanyard hole (bigger shackles) or a crescent/vice grips/smallish pipe wrench to grab the tab or eye on the end of the pin. (Strong sailors with strong mechanical ability are so handy...). This is where the sharp smart vigorous BMC is worth his weight in gold.

Adirondack Patriot said...

I boarded an ammo ship in the Northern Arabian Gulf via a ladder that looked similar to the one in the photo.  I had performed Boardings on hundreds of commercial ships, but this ammo ship was the worst.  Moreover, we had to maintain 25 kts for security purposes.  Needless to say, I made it, but the BM1 on the 34-ft HPB was afraid I was going to become screw chum.

The key is to always have a hand grip.  Your feet can slide off all day, but your hands matter most. 

eltjim said...

Or he might die from high-velocity lead poisoning.

Anonymous said...

QMC,
  You hit the nail on the head, deckplate leadership, problem is Chiefs now days are trained using a CBT and there is very little on hands training. Sad that in this Navy you can make Chief in 5 years, where is the experience in that chief if he was trained using a CBT.

DeltaBravo said...

I think the Grandpa Bluewaters of the world need to form an inspection team to go aboard assorted vessels on surprise inspections, rate the maintenance and school the newbies on proper ship upkeep.  And the captain's fitrep would reflect the state of his/her ship.  Retired... would not have to worry about politics or making rank.  Totally unbiased except for love of the Navy.  And it wouldn't let precious institutional knowlege go to waste.

C-dore 14 said...

As some have noted below, there once was a time when "Jacob's Ladders" were all homemade (you should have seen a couple of the examples in the Bosun's locker of my first ship) and were a major checkoff item on INSURVs and RETRA Training Readiness Evaluations (TRE).  As a former Weapons Officer, I thought that shifting to this type was a big step forward.  Unfortunately, you still have to do the pre-use/post use inspection...something these guys have apparently "deferred".

Noteably missing from this incident report is the whereabouts of the XO.  Back in the day, the XO met the pilot and escorted him to and from the bridge.  A degree of formality to be sure but it also made sure that somebody of some authority was back there to make sure that safety procedures were being followed.  Some folks have mentioned the BMC/BM1 but I suspect that he/she is up on the forecastle and some other rating is running the show here...another reason for the XO to turn up routinely.  Another interesting comment from the gcaptain post is that somebody wasn't present to "lend a hand" to the pilot as he reached the top of the ladder...a lack of common sense if not politeness.

To answer Phib's question, this would probably be an investigation that, because of the publicity and the concern about how many other basic safety procedures are being ignored, I would take out of the CO's hands (something that I only did once).  I suspect that the SG or TYCOM COS have already been on the horn about it.  

An interesting side note is that CDS 7, HOWARD's ISIC, is one of her former COs.

C-dore 14 said...

NH, Click on the link.  gCaptain's post has a list of the deficiencies, some of which are readily visible.  As someone who has climbed many a Jacob's Ladder (can we still use that term?) during his service career the two that immediately catch the eye are the misaligned steps and the ladder dragging in the water.

C-dore 14 said...

@QMC, In this old SWO's experience it was always the XO who had this responsiblity unless he had the conn.  Of course this was on the West Coast where the XO wasn't required to be the Navigator.

C-dore 14 said...

Early in Plebe Summer we were issued two books, "Reef Points" and "The Bluejacket's Manual".  The former helped during Plebe Year, the latter afterwards.  I wonder if they still issue the BJM?

GIMP said...

I've seen better ladders on treehouses made by 12 year olds in the woods. I am not kidding. Even if you don't know anything about the proper specifications for the ladder, who in their right mind would have the extra material hanging off the ends and think that was acceptable? A child would know to at least make all the steps look the same. I don't think this is a sign of incompetence as much as intentional malfeasance.

Seriously, even someone incompetent it this particular task (and I put myself in this category) would know that at the very least they would have to make the steps even, cut off extra material, and make it "look" like someone who knew what they were doing did it. If I asked my son or daughter to build a ladder by hand, they might make a hash of it, but they'd know enough to make it a symmetrical hash before showing it to me or their mother.

This appears to be far worse than incompetence, it appears to be malicious.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

WD-40 is mostly kerosene.  What you wants is something like LP-4, a much better product all around.

pk said...

wern't the original "sideboys" there to make sure that the admiral, when he returned to the ship after "meetings and dinner" actually made it to the main deck in a more or less upright fashion later in the evening.

C

pk said...

i think that telling the top BM on the ship to have his seabag stuffed and ready to go when we shifted colors would be sufficient.

c

pk said...

might apilot merit two sideboys??

c

Grandpa Bluewater said...

That's half of the Bulkeley method when Uncle John was PresInsurv. The other half was personal letters to the chain of command, awarding orchids and onions, as appropriate.

There was also a notice of "Common and Recurring Deficiencies" which cited the dwg, NSTM chapter and article, regulation or whatever for each one,

Good gouge for the harried div-o.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

John, we can't (well, they can, but it's not a fix) kill ever CO who's troops screw up when there is a camera around.  Chew butt, send somebody down and find out who doesn't know what, stand over it while they fix it, tell them "that's better, pass it along to the new kids".  If the leadership is unsat, that's one thing, if the troops don't know, teach them.  Egg on the face should not be a capital offense.

Not sending the Exec to check when the pilot says the Pilot Ladder is unsat, rig a new one...well, a CO should know better. Sword  of Damocles or the Red Queen's all purpose answer?  A Commodore's lot is not a happy one, but the decision should be his, and explained to the Admiral, either way.

C-dore 14 said...

@XO, Having watched Soviet/Russian ships operate close up, I'd argue that safety procedures that we consider basic aren't real major concerns to them.

stinkydave75 said...

FYI The extra long steps are there to provide stability whilst climbing up against the ship's side there shipmate. Noone should be cutting anything off articles of ships rigging like this. Theres a multitude of sins evident in this photo, but that ain't one.

C-dore 14 said...

To put things in perspective as to how messed up this is, I just showed the picture to Mrs. C-dore and her comment was "It's not supposed to look like that is it?"

LifeoftheMind said...

Right now I can hear Oliver Hazard Parry III screaming.

GIMP said...

Fair enough; I couldn't do the job or assess it other than it looks crappy.

I do wonder about the ship's command climate. Pride in workmanship should be a given even if you don't give a damn about the job.

For sailors to come up with crap like that leads me to suspect there are far deeper problems than a bunch of squids who can't rig ladders or tie knots.

Naval_Historian said...

If this is a deployed DDG, shouldn't there be an Air Det? Why not just take the Beach Det ashore and bring the pilot aboard courtesy of HSL-xx Det x? One sortie, 2 missions. The SH-60B has a RAST probe for a reason; wouldn't it be faster to helo the pilot aboard and he simply walk down the brow once the boat's pierside?

Grandpa Bluewater said...

This is a bread and butter routiine seamanship task.  The design is standardized due to the fact that the most common cause of the death of professional pilots, worldwide, was falls from "jacobs ladders". The design is ubiquitous, repair parts available on the open market world wide, the pilot access area in the lifelines pretty much similar in design and pre and post use inspection a basic seamanship supervisory task. Life and death important, but simple and universally competantly accomplished as a matter of routine.

An embarrassing breakdown of the chain of command and a sign to all who see it that screams to all who see it: "These people are grossly incompetent at the basic tasks common to any mariner."

ISIC's are charged with certifying the training of their deploying ships.  No active naval officer who manages by walking about should have missed this.

Don't need no stinking airdales. Need the take a round turn, motivational guidance, supervised training and correction defects and close monitoring subsequent.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

For example: http://www.coastmarineonline.com/pilot.html

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Guide For The Perplexed: http://www.impahq.org/downloads/rigging%20of%20ladders.pdf

C-dore 14 said...

@NH, You're correct that using the SH-60 is a potential option, although I've found that many pilots are reluctant to fly aboard (U.S. customs inspectors are the worst, often declining to meet the ship by any means prior to entering port).  Your suggestion is impractical too considering that a limited number of pilots service a large number of ships in most ports.  I've been in situations where the same pilot met my ship after mooring a civilian frieghter and then departed to his pilot boat to meet another civilian ship that was following me.  

Of course, as Grampa correctly points out, that isn't the issue here.  A properly maintained Jacob's Ladder, which this one isn't, is a safe and efficient means to bring a harbor or bar pilot aboard one's ship.  Some basic seamanship and "parental supervision" is all that's necessary to correct this problem since replacement ladders and repair parts are readily available worldwide.

Deployed Navy Reservist said...

Just wow. Having climbed my fair share of pilot ladders. Just wow. On a f'ing gray hull too. What a f'ing embarrassment. I saw better ladders on third world feeder ships in Africa. Dragging the ladder in the water is just amateur hour too.