The crippled USS Bonefish, an attack submarine rocked by a series of explosions that left three sailors dead, arrived at Charleston Harbor Friday behind a Navy salvage ship.
Explosions and fire tore through the diesel-power submarine Sunday, spewing toxic fumes and smoke and forcing the 92-member crew to flee. Twenty-two sailors were injured and three were killed.The USS Hoist, a powerful salvage ship, began towing the 29-year-old submarine Wednesday afternoon from off the Florida coast, where the explosions occurred.
The Bonefish and its crew had left Charleston April 16 and were involved in routine training exercises with several other Navy ships when the explosions and fire erupted in the ship's forward battery compartment.
Twenty-two of the 89 crew members who escaped were treated for smoke inhalation. Two remained hospitalized in satisfactory condition Thursday.
Rep. Arthur Ravenel Jr., D-S.C., announced Thursday that a judge advocate general's investigation into the accident has been initiated. The lawmaker said Rear Adm. William Owens, commander of Submarine Group 6 at Charleston and director of the Bonefish salvage operation, is expected to be the convening authority.
The bodies of the three dead sailors were found on board the Bonefish Wednesday, but the causes of their deaths were not known, the Navy said.
The remains of two sailors Lt. Ray Everts Jr., 30, of Naoma, W.Va., and Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Bordelon Jr., 39, of Willis, Texas were transferred late Wednesday to the hospital at the Charleston Naval Base.
The body of Petty Officer 3rd Class Marshall Lindgren, 21, of Pisgah Forest, N.C., was transferred to Charleston several hours before the Bonefish arrived back at its home port, the Navy said.
Lt. Cmdr. John Tull, a Charleston Naval Base spokesman, said the Navy plans to conduct memorial services in Charleston for the three sailors at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church.