Local sailor shares story on 25th anniversary of USS Bonefish fi - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Local sailor shares story on 25th anniversary of USS Bonefish fire

Posted: Updated:
Jim Yates shares his memories from April 24, 1988, the day the  USS Bonefish caught fire. Jim Yates shares his memories from April 24, 1988, the day the USS Bonefish caught fire.

Twenty five years ago, on April 24th, 1988, the Charleston based USS Bonefish caught fire and burned in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the sailors on board escaped, but three lost their lives.

More than two dozen years later, the fire is still firmly imprinted into the memories of the survivors. Jim Yates was a Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Submarine Qualified at the time of the fire. Retired and living in Summerville now, he remembers what it was like, "It was so black you couldn't see your hand in front of your face and our shoes were melting to the deck. I made that conclusion in my mind that I was dead."

On the day of the fire, the 30 year old submarine was performing drills with the USS Carr off the coast of Florida. Bonefish was submerged underneath Carr, so even as the fire began it could not rise immediately.

Yates describes the frustration, "We knew we couldn't surface, so that's when I think people were going, ok this is it."

The sailors on board worked together and eventually Bonefish surfaced, but the smoke from the fire was the cause of death for three sailors. "I think that is the part that many people are living through, is that we left three men behind."

Their names and their stories are something Yates can never forget. He lists each man, and remembers their role that day.

"Lieutenant Ray Everts was the officer of the deck. He went up to open the escape hatch and got overcome by smoke and died there."

"Robert Borderlon was the radio man who was sending signals to the ships above us to please clear the way so we could surface. He stayed late in the radio shack and when he came out, he got overcome by smoke trying to get out."

"Marshal Lindgren was part of a casualty control group that was helping those that were injured. He also was overcome by smoke and died."

"The rest of us got out by the grace of God, and the heroics of a lot of people."

Sharing his story today, Yates spoke about the fire not for himself, but to remember those who gave their lives. "Sharing this with you was to point out the three heroes of the day. There was not a lot of fanfare for them, and they deserved it."

**Note: The pictures for this story were found thanks to the Facebook page dedicated to the USS Bonefish.

  • 2 arrested in Mt. Pleasant after burglary call, chase and crash

    2 arrested in Mt. Pleasant after burglary call, chase and crash

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:58 PM EDT2014-08-21 18:58:49 GMT
    There was a call of a burglary Thursday on Carriage Lane in Mt. Pleasant.An officer saw the suspect vehicle on Mathis Ferry and a short chase ensued.The vehicle crashed at the roundabout, near the 526 overpass, closing the area. Officers started a chase on foot. Both suspects were arrested near Southhampton Apartments.If anyone saw the vehicle pictured involved in anything suspicious Thursday, please call 843-884-4176.
    There was a call of a burglary Thursday on Carriage Lane in Mt. Pleasant.An officer saw the suspect vehicle on Mathis Ferry and a short chase ensued.The vehicle crashed at the roundabout, near the 526 overpass, closing the area. Officers started a chase on foot. Both suspects were arrested near Southhampton Apartments.If anyone saw the vehicle pictured involved in anything suspicious Thursday, please call 843-884-4176.
  • RB Davis might miss No. 9 South Carolina's opener

    RB Davis might miss No. 9 South Carolina's opener

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:57 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:57:55 GMT
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Steve Spurrier says 1,000-yard rusher Mike Davis hasn't practiced this week and might not be ready when the ninth-ranked Gamecocks open the season against No. 21 Texas AM in a week.The teams play at Williams-Brice Stadium next Thursday night. Davis has been slowed by several injuries during camp, most recently a rib injury suffered last Saturday.Davis rushed for 1,183 yards last season, the fourth best single-season total in school history. Davis joked about his status T...
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Steve Spurrier says 1,000-yard rusher Mike Davis hasn't practiced this week and might not be ready when the ninth-ranked Gamecocks open the season against No. 21 Texas AM in a week.The teams play at Williams-Brice Stadium next Thursday night. Davis has been slowed by several injuries during camp, most recently a rib injury suffered last Saturday.Davis rushed for 1,183 yards last season, the fourth best single-season total in school history. Davis joked about his status T...
  • No. 16 Clemson backup OL Anthony transferring

    No. 16 Clemson backup OL Anthony transferring

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:55:18 GMT
    CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Part-time starting offensive lineman Shaq Anthony is transferring from Clemson.A release from the school stated that Anthony met with Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney on Thursday morning to discuss his decision.Anthony played in 17 games for the Tigers, making five starts the past two seasons. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Anthony was not projected as a starter heading into the season for No. 16 Clemson.Anthony said in a statement he enjoyed his time at Clemson but needed a clean...
    CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Part-time starting offensive lineman Shaq Anthony is transferring from Clemson.A release from the school stated that Anthony met with Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney on Thursday morning to discuss his decision.Anthony played in 17 games for the Tigers, making five starts the past two seasons. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Anthony was not projected as a starter heading into the season for No. 16 Clemson.Anthony said in a statement he enjoyed his time at Clemson but needed a clean...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.