With all of the comments on social media from former sailors saying, “JP5? All I did was drink JP5 when I was on [fill in the name of a ship],” it would be easy to dismiss what happened on the USS Nimitz, yet the situation on the ship appears to be worse than the usual case of “a little bit of JP5 got into the drinking water, and the VA says my cancer isn’t service related.” With the setbacks and delays keeping the Nimitz in dock, and speculation that it may be delayed further due to the severity of contamination (go here if this is all new to you), it’s important to find out what happened to cause this in the first place.
According to multiple sources, JP5 was sucked up into the potable water while the Nimitz was dumping fuel and circling at the same time. I don’t profess to know anything about sailing or life on an aircraft carrier, but according to people who do know, dumping fuel requires central control to be notified so they can tell the auxiliary machinery room to stop making potable water. Go to minute four in this Youtube video to see how sea water is fed into the ship.
Allegedly the Officer on Duty (OOD) and the Conning Officer (an officer on a naval vessel responsible for instructing the helmsman on the course to steer), had the ship doing donuts during night watches for helm and lee helm training while the ship was dumping fuel.
Personnel from the reactor went to the bridge to have it put into the deck logs, which will make it easy to prove upon investigation.
This was all an accident. Accidents literally happen all the time in the military, but the command team’s response after the fact is the issue. The incident was covered up, and the people in charge lied to the media. They claimed the water was safe to drink and denied anyone got sick, though we were told by dozens of sailors that they had been denied medical care despite the fact they were nauseous and had extreme bouts of diarrhea.
No worries, though. Since the command team wants to lie and place their careers over the wellbeing of the troops on their vessel, here’s a freebie for the investigation team: When the ship was sailing back to San Diego, they had to get a certain nautical distance away to dump fuel. The OOD wasn’t paying attention, and the ship sailed into Mexican territorial waters without giving Mexico any notice. Pretty certain that’s a violation of something or other, and this was also noted in the ship’s log.