THE OFFICIAL DAMAGE REPORT OF THE GROUNDING OF HMCS HURON


From: The Commanding Officer H.M.C.S. “HURON”

Date: 30 July, 1953.

File: DHN 1151-355/10

To : The Commander Canadian Destroyers Far East,
H.M.C.S. “IROQUOIS”,
Sasebo, Japan.
 

DAMAGE CONTROL REPORT OF GROUNDING “HMCS HURON”

Enclosure (a) Engineer Officer's report of Damage Control.
          (b) Initial assessment of damage.
          (c) HURON'S Damage Control Policy.
          (d) Damage Plan.

Submitted for information are Enclosures (a) to (d) regarding the damage control measures taken on the occasion of grounding on 13 July 1953.

2.    As a result of this incident and in addition to the report (Encl(a)) it is desired to forward the following constructive comments . The Ship's Damage Control organization was found to work smoothly and efficiently. The time element in this case was a major factor in that it was essential that every effort be made to refloat before first light due to the proximity of enemy shore batteries. This allowed a period of only 3 1/2 hours. In view of this, Chiefs and Petty Officers were used to a much greater extent than they would have been under other circumstances.  The energy and willingness displayed by these senior hands was outstanding.

3.     It is also considered that this case is perhaps unique in that the damage incurred by the ship subsequent to the refloating and while on passage to Sasebo was negligible. This was largely due to the weather and that the ship was taken in tow stern first.  As a result this enabled the maximum amount of stores, equipment and personal gear to be recovered.

4.     It is also desired in the light of experience to submit the following damage control recommendations:

(1) That all ships should be provided with a power driven saw.  If such had been the case the shoring time would have been cut down by 50%.
(2) That all ships should have stowage forward as well as aft for bottles  of Oxygen and Acetylene.  This would eliminate the necessity of having to move these heavy and cumbersome bottles under blackout and adverse conditions.
(3) That at least 90% of all shoring lumber should be 4 x 4's with the remainder 2 x 4's.  It was found that 4 x 4's were the primary requirement and in this instance, in addition to the 4 x 4's carried by HURON the entire supply of two USN Destroyers was required.
 

Original signed by
R.E. Chenoweth  MBE
COMMANDER, R.C.N.


To: The Commanding Officer,

From: The Engineer Officer,
 

DAMAGE CONTROL REPORT OF GROUNDING
H.M.C.S. HURON  13 JULY 1953

The ship was cruising in state III as defined in the attached damage control stencil .All X hatches and W/T doors were closed. The water tight integrity of the ship was at it's maximum with only "Y" manholes open to living compartments and ventilation on throughout the ship. Two boilers were connected and both turbo-generators and steering motors were operating .Both turbo-generators and steering motors were in use whenever HURON was in an operational area.

DAMAGE CONTROL REPORT

Damage control parties were piped to close up immediately after the impact at about 0038. One Officer Aft. did not have time to put his trousers on before the Damage Control Party commenced to examine compartments adjacent to the Wardroom Provision Room, etc.

Damage Control Headquarters in the Engineer Officer’s Cabin was manned immediately and reports coming in from Damage Control parties indicated the damaged area to b~ in the forecastle area. The Engine Room reported engines stopped and that machinery was not affected by the grounding. Propellers were free and generators operating satisfactorily. The Engineer Officer and Electrical Officer went forward to determine the extent of the damage. A quick preliminary examination showed that maximum damage extended back to the Forward Lower mess deck and forward of W/T bulkhead 30. Deck 3 was heaved up forward of W/T bulkhead 25, rivets were missing and W/T hatches to the #2 Naval Stores and #1 Provision Room distorted. The following were found to be flooded:- #2 Naval Stores, #1 Provision Room and 144Q2W Compartment, the refrigerating machinery Compartment and the Cold Room. The Cool Room was of necessity flooded because it communicates with the 144Q2W compartment.

The 147F compartment was examined and rocks were seen piercing deck 3 in this area. The paint locker and forecastle were not entered at this time. It was decided as a first analysis that W/T bulkhead 30 was the flooding boundary. Anything forward of that boundary might be lost in subsequent operations. It was considered that since W/T blkd. 30 showed no signs of distortion or leakage that it would be safe to back off the rocks before permanent shores were placed behind the bulkhead. So long as the ship was operated astern, W/T blkd.30 would hold. The Captain was informed of the primary flooding boundary, extent of the damage and that the Engineer Officer was prepared to attempt to back off the rocks at about 040Q. The First Lieutenant was requested to have A magazine cleaned of ammunition and the Shipwright commenced to remove the bottle racks from the magazine. Central stores, the Fore Upper and Lower mess decks were cleared of recoverable stores and personal gear.

During the examination and report to the Captain, Damage Control parties were erecting vertical shoring in the Fore Upper and Lower mess decks to carry the vertical weight in the forecastle area of the ship. Two-by-fours were used for this work because no larger timber was available in the ship. It was found that two-by-fours at either end of a mess bench placed flat on the deck made good temporary shoring. The mess benches distributed the loading over as wide an area as possible. By 0400, considerable temporary shoring had been completed in the Forward Upper and Lower mess decks. Bulkhead 30 was not reinforced because of a lack of four-by-four timber and the necessity to remove the bottle racks from 'A' magazine. As much oil fuel as possible from the forward tanks had been pumped aft and the First Lieutenant had slipped both anchors. Pumping aft ceased at 0400 to ensure that the steaming boilers did not loose suction. All men were evacuated from the damaged area and all personnel except the watch below were piped aft to the quarterdeck.

The ship went to full astern both in easy stages with no result. The bridge then ordered “Stop Port” and "Full Astern Starboard". The ship took up a definite Port list. The bridge then stopped the Starboard engine and went Full Astern Port. At about 0426, the bridge reported the ship clear of the rocks. The ship went slow astern to the seaward side of Yang Do, where Huron rendezvoused with the Rowan at about 0500. The Destroyer Squadron Engineer Officer from the Rowan came aboard to see the damage and find out what equipment would be required. Huron requested one complete set of oxy-acetylene cutting equipment, 30-Sixteen foot lengths of four-by-four and a quantity of wedges. In addition to the above the Rowan supplied a crew of welders to assist in cutting cut bottle racks.

Since the ship could, now manoeuvre astern and W/T blkd. 30 was holding, it was decided to recover the water tight integrity forward of bulkhead 30 as far as possible. It was decided to use curtain bulkhead 18 forming the after part of #l Central Stores as a water tight bulkhead. The entrance was considerably distorted so a section of the door frame was cut away. Two-by-six planks were placed horizontally across the opening thus formed. Seat cushions were placed horizontally along the planks making a seal and the whole section was backed by a steel door, one table top and two mess benches. Shores were then placed against the backing. Deck 3 was made water tight by the use of small shot plugs, splinter boxes and seat cushions backed by half-doors or radiators.

An attempt was made to pump out the Cold Room Compartment using two seventy-ton portable pumps and main suction without success. The attempt was abandoned and shores were placed on the closed hatch. At 0853 on the 13 July, Huron proceeded to meet the docking ship and the rescue tug, traveling astern. She carried on at various speeds astern until 1133, when a stop was made to cool off main engines. The docking ship and tug were sighted on the horizon and it was decided to wait for them. They came alongside and the tug proceeded to transfer anchor cable aft to the quarterdeck. It was decided that the tug should try to remove the asdic dome, so that the forward 90 feet cf Huron could be put in the LSD. The tug’s underwater cutting gear gave considerable trouble, and finally the tug attempted to tear the dome off with a wire. After breaking 3 wires the tug resumed cutting operations. The dome was finally almost entirely cut away but the tug abandoned the attempt due to the weather deteriorating. The dome must have broken away during the passage to Sasebo because the oscillator was hanging on arrival in dry dock.

At 2224 with the weather deteriorating, Huron started south accompanied by the tug and LSD. It was decided to abandon the attempt to place Huron in the LSD due to the failure to remove the asdic dome and the bad weather. Huron proceeded at slow ahead because by this time W/T blkd 30 had been completely shored. Speeds were variable from 50 to 60 R.P.M.. 70 R.P.M. was tried but it placed too much pressure on deck no. 3 in the Fore Lower. The pressure of the entrapped air had a tendency to heave the deck in this area. To vent the sudden air surges, the hatch on deck No. 2 to the 147F compartment was left open. Ammunition from A magazine, which had been stowed by X gun was struck down in the after magazine to decrease top weight.if the tow ever parted. A continuous watch was kept on a11 shoring, and shoring was cross-braced as wel1 as the supply of timber permitted. Progress was satisfactory until the afternoon of the 14 July. The weather had deteriorated and the waves were causing the loose plating on the starboard side to work. Three or four rivets came cut and a slight tear commenced in the plating aft of the damaged area. The Damage Control Officer advised that the loose metal be cut off by the tug before further damage resulted. The ship was stopped at 1652 and the tug came alongside to make the attempt. The weather deteriorated very quickly at this time and after several bumps between the two ships, the tug was ordered to stand clear. At this time the Senior officer in Rowan ordered the tug to take the Huron in tow astern.

Vacuum was dropped on the main engines to 5 to 10 inches Hg. Brakes were set on both shafts. It was considered that if the tow parted with engines going astern that the propellers would be fouled. By keeping brakes on the shafts, the ship insured that it could get under way if the tow ever parted. Steering motors were left on but were not used or required. One boiler was kept on load and the second boiler was banked .
The remainder of the trip to Sasebo was uneventful. More shoring was put in the forward upper because it was noticed that deck no. 2 was vibrating slightly as compared to deck no. 1. In addition shores were placed under the capstan area to carry the load. A transverse line of vertical shores were placed over blkd 25 in the Forward Lower mess because it was noted that deck no. 3 was intact aft of this line. Another transverse line of vertical shores was installed at frame 28 in the Fore Lower mess to tie in the shoring with the structure of “A” gun. It was found at this point that a boat boom made one of the strongest shores in the ship, although the Buffer could not understand its use in this fashion. Some of the loose meta1 on the ship's side tore clear during the passage. However no damage was caused since the ship was being towed astern and tearing extended into the damaged area.

Entry was made into the 147F Compartment and nearly a11 the electrical gear removed in an undamaged condition. Paint had been stowed in the forepeak compartment and most of this was also saved. The ship reached Sasebo on the 18 July and manoeuvred under her own power on coming alongside the "Fort Rosalie" to deammunition. She was then moved by tugs in #1 Dry Dock, S.S.K. Company for survey. The preliminary estimate of damage and an expanded view of the shell plating are enclosed for information.
 

Original signed by
H.D. Minogue
Lt/Cdr.(E) R.C.N.
 
 

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