Listen to this article Submarine Repairman’s Arson Causes $700M In Damages
The Submarine Fire: Repairman’s Arson Causes $700M in Damages
In May 2012, Casey Fury, a 25-year-old civilian painter and sand blaster at Portsmouth naval shipyard in Kittery, set fire to rags aboard the US military submarine USS Miami. Fury started the fire while the submarine was undergoing a 20-month dry dock overhaul, causing $450 million in damage, injuring seven people, and transforming the vessel into a fiery furnace.
Fury’s Actions and Trial
After the fire, Fury fled to the safety of the pier and watched as firefighters risked their lives to put out the inferno. Despite the extensive damage, Fury set a second fire outside the submarine three weeks later, causing little damage. He pleaded guilty to two counts of arson in November. During his trial, Fury claimed that he started the first fire due to an anxiety attack and the need to go home. He had no more vacation or sick leave and felt trapped in his job. He never envisioned such extensive damage when he used a lighter to set fire to a plastic bag of rags that he left on a bunk in a state room. However, prosecutors argued that Fury intentionally caused the blaze and that his actions endangered the lives of those on board the submarine.
Submarine Damage and Repairs Following Arson Incident
Fury’s actions damaged forward compartments, including living quarters, a command and control center, and the torpedo room. The fire’s intensity raised concerns about the integrity of the hull, which must withstand intense pressure at extreme underwater depths. Metallurgists who examined the hull found no major damage, but the Navy determined that the submarine required extensive repairs before it could return to service.
Submarine Arsonist Fury Sentenced to 17 Years in Jail
In June 2013, Fury received a 17-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to setting the fire. The court also ordered him to pay $400 million in restitution, which reflected the estimated cost of repairing the submarine. The judge imposed the sentence under a plea agreement, which limited Fury’s time in prison to roughly 15 to 19 years for arson.
Submarine Arson Incident: Impact and Importance for Naval Safety Practices
The defense argued that Fury suffered from depression and anxiety and that he never intended to harm anyone. However, the judge and prosecutors rejected this argument, citing Fury’s actions in setting a second fire after the extensive damage caused by the first one. Despite the damage caused by Fury’s actions, the USS Miami was repaired and returned to service in the middle of 2015. The incident highlighted the risks of arson and the importance of safety measures in shipyards and on board naval vessels.
In conclusion, the USS Miami fire caused significant damage and highlighted the risks of arson in naval shipyards and onboard vessels. The incident also emphasized the importance of safety protocols and procedures and mental health support for workers in high-pressure environments. The incident taught valuable lessons that will shape safety practices and procedures in the Navy for years to come, despite the successful repair and return of the USS Miami to service.