Daily Archives: September 30, 2013

UK CHESTERFIELD: Tributes paid to tragic Submariner aged 22

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The heartbroken family of a young sailor who died in a motorbike smash while on leave have honoured “a wonderful young man who served his country.”

Royal Navy submariner, Christopher Payne, 22, was killed instantly in the crash on the B6179 Derby Road near Coxbench on September 5, after failing to negotiate a bend near the A38 bridge.

Christopher, a marine engineering technician, had just returned home from his post on the HMS Triumph in Plymouth that day.

Fighting back tears, his dad Dean Payne, said: “I am so proud of my son and what he achieved in life. I am proud of the job that his mother Debbie and I did in raising him to turn out to be such a wonderful young man.

“He served his country and would have gone on to serve his country many times more.”

Hundreds of mourners descended on Brimington Crematorium last Thursday to pay tributes to Christopher – known as Max to his fellow sailors – as he was honoured with a full military funeral.

Amongst them were more than 60 members of the Royal Navy who were able to attend en masse because of a fault with the submarine that delayed their launch.

His uncle, Keith Lee, said: “He was very well thought of. They are a close knit family on the HMS Triumph. They have lost one of their own just as much as us.”

He described his nephew – a lifelong Spireite – as a typical teenager with a cheeky grin, who always looked out for his younger sister, Danielle, 19.

“He was very protective of her” said Keith. “She is absolutely devastated. She has lost her right arm.”

Dean added: “From the moment she was born he looked after her and he was still looking after her until he died.”

Christopher, who was born in Spital and divided his time between Brimington and Holbrook while on leave, will be remembered by a signed Chesterfield FC shirt donated by the club, to hang in the HMS Triumph.

Chesterfield FC Community Trust director John Croot: “It was an honour to hand over a signed shirt to Christopher Payne’s colleagues from HMS Triumph. It is nice to think that the shirt, once it is framed and hung up on a wall aboard the submarine, will provide them with a permanent reminder of Christopher.”

Chris Brownley, fellow submariner, said: “A lot of the lads are finding it quite hard without him, and we are all finding it hard to concentrate.

“He always had a smile on his face, always a cheeky grin. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He would always help out.”

Source – Derbyshire Times

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Aus – Collins one of the most capable conventional submarines

THE navy has defended its troubled Collins-class submarines, saying it had to identify properly all of their faults in a report to help determine whether their service life could be extended.

Defence said the Collins remained one of the most capable conventional submarines in the world despite a report, revealed in The Australian this week, that found 68 critical faults that could force the boats into early retirement.

The report by the Defence Materiel Organisation late last year found hopes of extending the life of the six Collins submarines until the 2030s when new submarines could be built would be “unachievable” unless urgent action was taken to fix major systems faults aboard each boat.It revealed that the submarines were getting hotter, heavier and noisier each year and detailed flaws in the diesel engines, command and control systems, periscopes, sonars and other key systems and equipment.

This contrasted with the sanitised public summary of the report given by the former Labor government that focused on a single sentence in the report saying that there was “no single technical issue” which would prevent the service life of the boats being extended.The report’s findings have left the new Coalition government with difficult choices about whether to attempt to extend the life of the submarine fleet or purchase or lease smaller submarines as an interim measure to ensure Australia continues to have submarines to defend it into the early 2030s.

Defence said the submarines were subject to a rigorous safety and certification system and were operated by a dedicated and well-trained team of officers and sailors.It said The Australian’s articles were based on “an internal report prepared by the Defence Materiel Organisation which examined the feasibility of extending the life of the Collins-class submarine”.

“The purpose of the report was to identify potential issues and risks that would need to be addressed to extend the life of the class,” Defence said.”This is a common and normal process to be followed if consideration is being given to the life-extension of any system. It was always expected that the report would identify systems that would require attention should a life-extension be required.”Defence said many of these were already known and some were being addressed in planned upgrades or through continuous improvement programs.”As with any risk analysis, a risk must first be identified before it can be assessed and determined whether controls will need to be put in place to manage the risk,” it said.Defence said there had been “significant improvement” in submarine availability over the past 15 months. It said its submarines were “busy operating domestically and as far afield as conducting exercises in Japan and Hawaii”.

“This is a testament to the hard work being conducted by all members of the submarine enterprise involved in the sustainment of the Collins-class submarine,” it said. The DMO report made it clear that any plan to extend the life of the Collins fleet would be high risk.

Source – The Australian