U.S. Navy Diesel-powered research Submarine DOLPHIN, reported fire and flooding

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Since 05-23-02

The USS Dolphin is a U.S. Navy diesel research submarine which holds the world's deep-diving record.

The Dolphin, stationed in San Diego, is the Navy's lone diesel-electric research submarine. Commissioned in 1968, the 165-foot-long vessel established a world depth record for operating submarines, with a recorded test depth of more than 3,000 feet.

The Dolphin can carry scientific payloads of more than 12 tons, a considerably greater capacity than any other deep diving research vessel operating today, the Navy says.

  Public Affairs Office
  140 Sylvester Road
  San Diego, CA 92106-5200


  May 22, 2002

   SUBMARINE BASE POINT LOMA -- U.S. Navy Diesel-powered research Submarine  DOLPHIN, reported fire and flooding at 11:30 p.m. (PDT) Tuesday while operating approximately 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, California.

   The Oceanographic Research Motor Vessel McGaw was operating in the vicinity and immediately responded.

   The fire and flooding was beyond the ability of the crew to control so  they were evacuated by small boat to McGaw after the submarine hatches had  been secured. All crewmembers were safely recovered with only a few minor  injuries.  Two crewmembers were recovered from the water by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter during the transfer.  The M/V McGaw is en route San Diego with DOLPHIN's crew onboard.

   The quick response of the crew placed the submarine in a stable condition.

   USS THACH (FFG 43) is currently alongside DOLPHIN assessing the submarine's status and possible recovery/ towing operations. Submarine  Support Vessel KELLIE CHOUEST got underway from San Diego at 3:30 a.m. (PDT) to assist in the recovery assessment. Cause of the incident is under investigation.

   Additional information will provided as it becomes available.

   For updates to the information, call Navy Region Southwest Public Affairs, 619-532-1434/1431/4291.

   - USN -