Experts out to solve deep-sea mystery of the USS Scorpion – USATODAY.com

Shipwreck disaster experts are calling for a deep-sea expedition to a lost U.S. nuclear attack sub, the USS Scorpion, in an effort to verify a new theory on what caused the Cold War vessel to sink.

The Scorpion was lost May 22, 1968, killing 99 men, about 400 miles south of the Azores Islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The sub has been inspected by undersea recovery teams, including a visit in 1985 by oceanographer Robert Ballard before his team’s discovery of the Titanic shipwreck.

The cause of the sub’s loss remains hotly disputed. A Navy Court of Inquiry found “the cause of the loss cannot be definitively ascertained.”

via Experts out to solve deep-sea mystery of the USS Scorpion – USATODAY.com.

There’s a large number of theories of why the Scorpion was lost. After the loss of USS Thresher, and USS Scorpion, the Navy instituted a wide range of new safety programs under the rubric SUBSAFE, and haven’t lost any since, though there have been a number of close calls.

7 thoughts on “Experts out to solve deep-sea mystery of the USS Scorpion – USATODAY.com”

  1. While I was in it was speculated that the planes jammed. I think that has happened a couple of times, but the Thresher and Scorpion could pull it out. I’m not sure what SUBSAFE included, but it seems to have worked. Something we can all be thankful for.

    1. SUBSAFE included (I’m going with 40 y.o. memory here) a whole bunch of NDT; a hugely improved Emergency MBT Blow system; remote seawater hull & backup valve control; greatly improved diving plane emergency control. Probably other stuff I don’t recall. The men who perished on SSN593 did not die in vain.

  2. I thought it was the torpedo batteries catching fire and causing a low order detonation. Remember, the torpedo loading hatch was blown outward. And Ballard got to find Titanic because the Navy financed his trip. The deal was to find and dive the Scorpion first and do an examination, then with whatever time was left before the weather went bad they could look for Titanic.

  3. You may be right Byron. I’m not aware of what Ballard found as I never saw any articles about it and I’m just repeating what was discussed while I was in. I know there have been several instances of plane jams, but I have no idea how they happen.

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