Sunday, April 24, 2011

In Memoriam - USS Bonefish (SS-582) Fire - 24 April 1988

On 24 April, 1988, USS Bonefish (SS-582) was conducting ASW (anti-submarine warfare) exercises with USS Carr (FFG-52) off the coast of Florida.

While submerged, an electrical short started a small fire that quickly grew. While Bonefish was surfacing, the fire caused an explosion in the battery well. Smoke quickly filled the submarine as she was brought fully to the surface. When attempts to contain the growing fire failed, the submarine's Commanding Officer, ordered the crew to evacuate to the deck.

Three men - LT Ray E. Everts, RM1 (SS) Robert W. Bordelon, Jr., and YN3(SS) Marshall T. Lindgren died due to smoke inhalation.

The rest of the crew were able to safely evacuate and were rescued. USS Carr was able to launch both a helicopter and ship's boat to assist in the evacuation. One SAR (Search And Rescue) Diver, AW3 Larry Grossman, spent several hours in the water and received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism.

Once the fire was extinguished, Bonefish was towed to Charleston, SC. Her damage was deemed to be so extensive that she could not be economically repaired. She was decommissioned on 28 September 1988.

Official U.S. Navy photograph of an SH-3H Sea King Helicopter hoisting a crewman off Bonefish's deck. Photograph taken 28 April, 1988 during rescue operations after the fire had been extinguished. Photograph from the Defense Visual Imagery Directorate, DN-ST-88-09333


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings. The photo at the top of your article is a pic taken the day after rescue operations. The H-3 is from USS JFK. It was a recovery mission. A JFK flight flight surgeon and other crew members were hoisted aboard to recover the three Bonefish sailors still aboard who succumbed to smoke inhalation.

My name is Jim Chapman. I was the rescue crewman who was tracking the submerged sub when it suffered the conflagration. We were the first helo on scene and rescued 24 of the most critically injured while hovering over the vessel while the fire burned out of control.

1:09 PM  

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