unHook the Line and SINK Her, Already!

Astounding myself yet again with my prescient talents, I have forseen disaster…

And where that historic eyesore is parked happens to be my downtown in Pensacola. They farted around getting her towed here and now it’s too late to get her out to sea before hurricanes start rolling in again. She’s not due to move out until November now. They swear it’s a hurricane-proof mooring and we’re all betting, come another big blow, that she’ll be six blocks up the street where all the other dock trash wound up after Ivan. On a lighter note, they do have former crew members standing next to those street lamps by the hulk every Saturday for lectures, if anyone’s in the neighborhood.

…in comments posted on one of Bill’s world famous Name That Ship challenges.

With their typical farsightedness, the local pond scum are just getting around to wondering, like…what if

With hurricane season fast approaching, Navy officials are determining how to prevent the retired aircraft carrier Oriskany, now moored at the Port of Pensacola, from becoming a dangerous wrecking ball on the surging tide of a major storm.
The USS Oriskany…is scheduled to be sunk 22.5 miles south of Pensacola in the Gulf.
News Journal file photoPort Director Chuck Porter expects to learn about plans to secure the 888-foot-long ship after Navy engineers consider the issue at a meeting set for the last week of April.

And with their typical sense of urgency, they’ll get around to an “updated plan for the Oriskany would be made public in May.” Thank God they’ll have it all figured out before hurricane season starts…1 JUNE.
How’d we come to be in such a state, when it’d all been planned so beautifully? The usual way. The only guy with the plan…died.

A recent unfortunate development has occurred that will delay completion of this simulation model, and therefore delay the sinking of ORISKANY. The lead model developer, a subcontractor to URS Corp., the company developing the simulation model for the Navy, tragically and unexpectedly died on January 7, 2005. Although numerous Navy, EPA and URS Corp. scientists were working on the simulation model, the deceased was the only integrator of the model. Several scientific and technical issues that had been agreed to between Navy and EPA had not been accomplished and require this integration. URS Corp. has established a recovery team that is being overseen by scientists from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego.
This unfortunate disruption is expected to cause a two-month delay in completion of the simulation model, thus delaying the sinking of ORISKANY until at least September 2005.

(Man, are they using unfortunate alot or what?) It’s also unfortunately a hurricane proof slip; “the Navy will secure the ship in a hurricane mooring arrangement approved by the U.S. Coast Guard” and “assess the chains needed to hold vessels in place in rough surf”. (Kinda like one a them ‘squirrel proof‘ bird feeders.) Then they’re thinking that filling her up with water to settle her into the slip would work. Oriskany keel depth? 27 feet. Slip depth? 33 feet. Yeah, lots of room to work with there. Warm fuzzies abound. The money quote from a guy in an office who doesn’t live here?

“What if a hurricane comes, and the Oriskany ends up on Garden Street? I think the chances of that are zip to none,” Porter said.

Sigh. As soon as some slide ruler type says you’re okay, just bend over and kiss yOriskany good-bye.

7 Responses to “unHook the Line and SINK Her, Already!”

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    Geesh, they must have an idea where they wanted to make the reef. Just make sure her tanks are dry and blub-blub-blub already.

  2. John says:

    THS – in reference to the geek in question, I have two quotes that proabably fit the situation:
    “In contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.” J. D. Watson (The Double Helix)
    “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.” Arthur C. Clarke’s First Law

  3. John says:

    To follow up on the last comment:
    “Clarke defines the adjective ‘elderly’ as :”In physics, mathematics and astronautics it means over thirty; in other disciplines, senile decay is sometimes postponed to the forties. There are of course, glorious exceptions; but as every researcher just out of college knows, scientists of over fifty are good for nothing but board meetings, and should at all costs be kept out of the laboratory”. (in Profiles of the Future.)”
    Unfortunately I am well past my “best by” date, but at least I’m not in the board meeting category yet.

  4. Mr. Bingley says:

    But if it does end up in the middle of town it would be a great public works project. Hell, they could house thousands of homeless there and put basketball courts and baseball fields on the flight deck.

  5. Nightfly says:

    This must be why my Air Force buddies mock the Navy.

  6. The Real JeffS says:

    So their lead “integrator” died. That’s unfortunate and sad.
    It also is silly…..on the part of the contractor.
    I suppose that an effects model of sinking the ship is needed, although I have my own doubts, based on my limited experience with computer modeling. But to have only a single person, without any back up, in a key position? No assistant? No notes? This might have been a personal quirk of the deceased, or it might been a decision to cut costs, but the impact could be far reaching.
    OTOH, look at the bright side — y’all might get a new regional airport in downtown Pensacola real cheap!
    [ducking and running]

  7. R C Dean says:

    How pathetic is it that our Navy can’t even sink one of its own ships?

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