Yes, the collision and its aftermath is a special
event in RANGER history. Although never a "showboat"
like the Enterprise, RANGER was always considered a
battle ready vessel, and when this happened, her
training paid off.
Although the collission alarm sounded at approximately
0450 on that morning, rousting virtually EVERYONE out
of their racks, NO ONE was seriously hurt, and only
ONE casualty even had to report to sick bay: the
Navigator who was a very tall man and lacerated his
forehead (about a 2 inch cut) going through a "knee
knocker" at breakneck speed enroute the bridge from
his at sea cabin. I repeat, no one else was hurt!
We stayed ALL ENGINES OFF for approximately two hours
in place. For about the first 45 minutes, we were
still about 1/2 way through the tanker, and still
there, afraid to withdraw for fear of sparks, AND our
own watertight integrity failing.
FORTUNE MONROVIA was a liberian registered tanker, and
was manned by a chinese crew. It took us about 20
minutes to raise the tanker bridge, since we did NOT
know the frequency and they had a language barrier.
After we finally raised her, it took about another
20-30 minutes to get someone to their bridge that
spoke english. It was a nightmare because ALL that
time, the tanker was spewing crude oil onto the
surface of the ocean. Our firemain intakes of course
were sucking this up, until the Chief Engineer halted
all of this (the fire parties were all in place, but
NO ONE activated a hose, because, thank God, there was
I was the JA talker on all Special Sea/Anchor details
for the COs during my time aboard (I knew what I was
doing). The JA circuit for Special Sea / Anchor
detail connects to Damage Control Central, not CIC.
To this day I can still remember the Chief Engineer
YELLING on the phones to get the Captain to GET US OUT
OF THIS LAKE OF OIL IMMEDIATELY!
Of course, the JA talker is required to REPEAT EXACTLY
what is said on the circuit. I can tell you that THIS
conversation was one of the most INTENSE I ever had on
the phones between CO and Chief Engineer or CIC
Officer. I actually got to YELL at the CO, and of
course the Chief Engineer! It was GREAT! But scary
too, because I heard everything that could have
happened that both the bridge and Damage Control
Central tried so hard to prevent.
Finally, after much checking, we confirmed for
ourselves that we could float and make way, no major
damage (though the tanker was and remained dead in the
water...had to be towed to Singapore the next day).
We made a U turn, headed back to Subic, got that patch
and proceeded to cruise the far east until the new bow
was ready at Yokosuka.
RANGER. Ed Weeden
pg. created by caguy