Figure 2-18.-Damage to the main engine room of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.
entered the main engine room and stepped into
ankle-deep water. The CO checked that space and
then headed for AMR2, where the key problem
was the rising water. Seawater was close to
reaching the fire pumps and was already
splashing on the diesels. Despite the desperate
situation in the engineering spaces, the CO felt a
tremendous sense of confidence as he watched his
men work. Chief Fords team was confident too.
We can win this one, captain, one sailor said.
We can do it, another echoed. As he surveyed the
situation, he made the decision that they were
going to save the ship. At the hatchway the
captain looked back and said, "Ill see you again.
Ill be back."
The captain recalled the lessons learned about
putting water inside the skin of the ship from the
Stark incident. As the fire fighters put water down
the stack, it flowed into the ship. He realized,
Were sinking ourselves!
From the triage area on the 02 level, Doc had
moved all his patients aft to the hangar bay for
evacuation. When BMSN Gibson left the bow
immediately after the explosion, he didnt get the
chance to break out much fire hose. The pain from
his back injury had quickly stopped him in his
tracksnow he was pinned to a stretcher.
The worst case so far was the EOOW, Chief
Perez. He had serious injuries to his head and
back. Having been trapped under the deck grating
in the main engine room after the mine exploded,
Perez had a close brush with death. Shipmates
worked feverishly to rescue him. He escaped by
swimming under oily water for 15 feet through
mangled equipment to where a crewman was
shining a battle lantern into the water to show
him the way.