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Seastories  about the SEAFOX SWCL at SBU-12 


 

Steven Mironchick SBU-12 - The Seafox was a great boat and platform for the operations it was designed to do. The problem came was when you start operating them in above Sea State 3 and 4. Then it could be "What's happening next??"" I had two occasions where I lost all communication suites. Lucky for me and everyone else onboard this night I didn't lose radar. Radar can be effective for navigating when all your Charts and Navigation tools have been washed overboard. Ad to it raining so hard you're eyeballs need wipers, not to mention entering a port you never been before. Somebody was watching out for me that night!  We were always telling our Commanding Officers that; "Someday somebody's gonna get killed in those things." Well sure enough people died and for that I'm truly sorry! The safety issues surrounding the SEAFOX were well known to the Operators and Commanders. Operational commitments drove the busy schedule common throughout the Special Boat Unit, and our Bosses didn't have the courage to stand up and say this boat is not safe to operate in certain Sea State conditions! So the crews took it on the nose and kept slugging it out, sometimes with fatal outcomes. I was just lucky and only suffered minor injuries as did my crew. Others were not so lucky. 

Mal Flisk SBU-12 - I took a Seafox to San Clemente Is. and the Radar Mast broke. I got my Butt chewed out by ENCS Polliet because we were slamming into the waves so hard that water was getting into the engine covers and and he said we were getting water into the turbo intakes. The LT. with us didn't want to turn around until the mast broke, but as POIC, the ENCS said I should have made the call, looking back he was right.

Then there was the FIREFOX the one that was making the run from Sasebo to Pusan, had a fire start with engine turbo blanket. I heard they pulled the Halon and then they had a re-flash when they opened the engine covers. They got it out but the heat from the fire delaminated a large area of  the fiberglass.

Mal Flisk and Bill Redman with a comment from Matt Knight. SBU-12

Mal Flisk begins:  I was the guy who ran one of the SEAFOXes onto Oceanside Public Beach (just outside the Del Mar Boat basin and Camp Pendleton.....

Bill Redmond recalls: It was a three day Op and the final hours of night were coming when we were to drop the SEALs off at Oceanside early, about 3 am. It was foggy and as we were approaching a 15 ft wave hit us in the rear and spun us around and on its side. I remember a crew man with his face pressed to the window and the Coxswain hanging on to the helm. I was on the deck and the only thing that saved me was the Radar Arch, my legs went completely over the side.. I'm one arming the arch and praying to God the boat doesn't completely roll over, and I say that because the boat was on its side. It was that close to rolling over and we ended up on the beach as Mal mentioned....

Mal Flisk continues: We Hit the beach after the rear compartment with the SEALs was full of water from that Standing Wave. Rich Cazares was my engineer, Bill Redmond crewman and Ken Raza was POIC under instruction. The SEALs, when we hit the beach, grabbed their weapons and jumped the fence into Camp Pendleton. We grabbed the 50Cals and M-60s and small arms and electronics off the boat and covered them with e canopy from the swimmers compartment. I can still recall being in the coxswains flat and my engineer telling me don't worry we won't sink! ( we were in water up to our mid-chest)

Matt Knight recalls Mal's radio call to the Tower at NAB Coronado. "This is (Callsign)  we are on the beach!!!! The Tower replied back "Roger you are on the beach. (Liberty??)"

NNNOOOO!!!! you don't Understand we are on the beach!!! When the sun came up Mal did his best to convince the media that the best belonged to the Marines!!

Mal Flisk continues: Of course when the sun came up....the shit hit the fan...But that's another story.