This is a true story.
Back in the old days when men
had "DBF" (sub sailor for "Diesel Boats Forever") tattooed on their forearms, boats were steel
were iron. Boats (never ship) had 2 screws and were easily maneuvered in and out of port under their own power.
Later submarines were nuclear powered, including SSN-594 class (all named after fish), SSN-637 (also named after fish
and probably the most favored by sub crews) and SSN-688 class, which were all named after US cities. 594 and 637 class sailors liked to disparagingly refer to 688 sailors as "high heeled city boat
sailors" due to the advancements in technology, there was a lot less manual valve control and a lot more button pushing. All of these later classes
of boats only have one screw and require at least one tug, usually two, to enter and exit port.
I was a 594 sailor, then went to shore duty to teach at NAVSUBTRACENPAC in Pearl Harbor, HI. One of the officers from my boat
was an accident
waiting to happen, he just never seemed to be fully situationally aware. He got promoted and sent to a 688 boat, where rumors were that he had become even more dangerous and stubborn.
One day I was in a hangar at Ford Island and watched as his boat slowly headed out of Pearl Harbor, getting pushed out by 2 tugs, when suddenly the lights in the building blinked once, then went out! I jokingly said to the guy next to me, "I bet they dragged anchor
and yanked out the power cord for all of Ford island!" "Nah! That's nearly impossible, I bet it's buried really deep!" Since this happened in mid-afternoon, we had to release all of the students early for the day.
The next day we all came to work
and they had just restored power to Ford island and the work
crews were getting on the small boat
that all of us had just climbed off of. I asked one of the workers what had happened. He said, "The sub that was leaving port about 2 pm yesterday dragged it's anchor
, snagged the submerged power cable and broke it."
You could have knocked me over with a feather!