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The navy is broke,' says former sailor over maintenance budget

dapaterson

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Don't sell them short.  The only ones they hate more than their juniors are their peers.
 

FSTO

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dapaterson said:
Don't sell them short.  The only ones they hate more than their juniors are their peers.

Its all a smoke screen. We save our real hatred for the Army.  ;D
 

SeaKingTacco

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FSTO said:
Its all a smoke screen. We save our real hatred for the Army.  ;D

Huh. I could have sworn that honour belonged to the embarked Air Detachment.
 

FSTO

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SeaKingTacco said:
Huh. I could have sworn that honour belonged to the embarked Air Detachment.

We envy your sleeping ability. But we realize you guys are the red headed step children of the RCAF and we would love to bring you back into the fold where you belong.
 

Navy_Pete

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Chief Stoker said:
Keeping a good sealer on it helps too and of course keeping your hoses tight and in good repair.

Both are true; I was thinking more of the mid deck cracks that can develop over time.  There are a number of different products as well; whatever black rubbery one they put under the steam kettles in the galleys is holding up great.  The USN has a standard one that comes in lots of colours, but tends to crack and need replaced relatively often. A properly applied tile (that people don't walk on in the cure period) lasts really long with some minor repairs, and some of the inserted deck designs look awesome, but if you don't stay on top of any cracked tiles, or otherwise do minor maintenance to the tile and underlay as required then you can't really complain I guess. I think if we went with the underlay it would look great for a bit, then some numpty trying to get promoted would either try and bring in a lower cost alternative or defer repairs in an effort to get promoted by saving money (it can be quite a bit more expensive).

The catch basin under the hoses is another problem area, as you can never get all the water out and it gets stuck under the AFFF barrels, so everytime you break a hose to drain it after it was charged salt accumulates there and turns it into a rust bucket. We went around tried at least rinsing them with fresh water following work ups to get rid of some of the salt crystals but don't know if it made any real difference.
 

sailoraye123

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Do you honestly think its only on the floor, sure that could be one of the causes... look up.. its crazy how much mold you will see in the flats of the ships... but hey that's what night flat parties are for when everybody is sleeping paint over the mold with a fresh layer of paint breaking the pores making it worst... no wonder that poor Lt was medically released.. funny veterans affair are paying him, but yet theres no problem and its not related to ships as the mold problem on ships has been rectified
 

garb811

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Federal judge rejects sailor's lawsuit over warship mould

A Federal Court judge has rejected a lawsuit against the federal government by a former sailor who claims his debilitating lung condition was the result of mould exposure aboard two Canadian warships.

Retired lieutenant Alan Doucette of Moncton, N.B. filed the claim last December. A judge recently tossed the case, saying the former officer already had received benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada.

His lawyer, Brian Murphy, said the decision will be appealed.

...
More at link
 

Spencer100

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Back in the news

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/navy-mouldy-mattresses-1.5313558
 

Blackadder1916

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The story continues to moulder.

Serving military member sues DND over mould exposure on warship
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/navy-frigates-mould-lawsuit-1.5681241?cmp=rss
Alleges poor conditions on HMCS Vancouver led to persistent health problems

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Aug 11, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 7 hours ago

A serving member of the Canadian military has launched a proposed class-action lawsuit against the Department of National Defence after his flying career was cut short because of health issues which he claims are related to mould exposure aboard a navy frigate.

Capt. Felix Dunn, of Bedford, N.S., served aboard HMCS Vancouver for six months in 2016 when he developed a fever, chills and respiratory issues, and according to his doctors has never fully recovered.

The warship has had documented issues involving black mould, which environmental experts say is a serious health risk for people with pre-existing conditions.

Dunn is currently posted to the air force base in nearby Shearwater in an administrative position until he is due to be medically released from the military in March 2023.

It is the second time the federal government has been taken to court over the effects of mould exposure aboard warships.

A CBC News investigation first documented the problem in 2016.

As a result, the navy undertook an extensive series of air quality tests and engineering upgrades to the frigates to eliminate the excess humidity and poor air circulation that gives rise to mould.

At the same time, CBC News documented cases of sailors who said their debilitating respiratory health issues were a result of mould exposure, and one of them, former lieutenant Alan Doucette launched a lawsuit over the sometimes grimy conditions aboard the warships.

The case was eventually dismissed.

But since then, the Department of National Defence has compiled extensive documentation, which Dunn, in his statement of claim filed in Federal Court on July 29, said indicates the military covered up "the issue of mould growth and the compromised air quality it caused" and that it "failed to take appropriate action to ensure the health and wellness of the service men and women under its employ."

Somewhat more significantly, the lawsuit claims the defence department "was fully aware of the significant negative health effects that result from exposure to such mould, particularly repeated exposure over a long period of time."   

None of the claims has been proven in court.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces who may have been exposed to black mould while serving at sea since Jan. 1, 2000.

As of last fall, environmental health assessment teams had examined four of the navy's 12 frigates — HMCS Winnipeg, HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS Calgary and HMCS Halifax — and found mould growth in specific areas related to air conditioning and ventilation systems, as well as and other confined spaces where food is stored.

Black mould was found on the mattresses of some bunks aboard HMCS Charlottetown, which the defence department initially denied before being confronted with photos leaked to CBC News last fall.

"These members were continuously kept in the dark and misled as to the conditions aboard the Canadian Navy ship on which they served," said Dunn's lawyer, Brian Murphy in a written statement, who added the defence department's reaction has shown "a wanton disregard" for the sailors and aircrew who've served.

An engineering analysis, obtained and published by CBC News in May 2018, blamed the mould problem on a lack of maintenance and upkeep by the navy.

The report, written in 2015 by an outside contractor, said the shipboard heating and air conditioning system (HVAC) had "significantly degraded" and that "little maintenance has been performed and the state of the equipment is old and unsupportable."

At the time, the navy's director general of maritime equipment, Commodore Simon Page, pushed back at the suggestion lax maintenance was to blame.

The navy initially started out when the first story was written in 2016 by denying there was a problem though it has slowly backed up as reports piled up.

But throughout it has insisted mould did not present a health risk and no direct complaints had been received from crewmembers or aircrew.

A spokesman for the defence department, Dan Lebouthillier, said "given the ongoing litigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on this matter."

The navy has said in the past that it is doing everything within its power to mitigate the mould, including updating the ventilation system controls and even buying portable dehumidifiers for various parts of the ship that seem most prone.

"Our sailors will know my message is — as it has always been — their welfare is our No. 1 priority and we encouragement to be an active participant in making the workplace safe and healthy," said Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, speaking to CBC News in December 2019.

McDonald answered questions about the ongoing concerns in the year-end interview and spoke directly to sailors and helicopter crews, saying: "If you see something that needs addressing, raise it to your chain of command and we'll work with you to address it."
 

stoker dave

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I am kinda surprised by this. 

I would like to think that before launching a lawsuit, this guy did everything 'by the book' including going up his chain of command, working in all the official channels, etc. 

Having a serving officer sue DND is (I think) pretty rare (I am sure others here can chime in) and sets a dangerous precedent for an organization whose job is 'to get in harm's way' as the cliche goes. 
 

gryphonv

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Personally I'm following this one closely.

Ironically I'm now sitting at the hospital for a lung xray because I have a lot of issues with breathing.

Yes I worked in the navy and on more than one occasion I know I was exposed to mold directly.

For years while I served I had a smoker's cough. My morning ritual was waking up and hacking up vile stuff that accumulated over night. Along with a nagging cough that wouldn't go away. Basically I had 'shack hack' for the majority of my sailing life. And I was never a smoker. Which I know if I was it would of been listed as the culprit.

My doctor kept telling my I'm only reagravating my lungs with the cough and it's nothing to be concerned about.

I'm now almost 4 years post release and still have the nagging cough, poor capacity and asthma like symptoms without being asthmatic...(just had a test to confirm I'm not).

I haven't submitted anything with vac regarding this as I'm still trying to get a diagnosis from doctors. I admit I haven't been on top of it as much as I could of been though.

I suspect there are a lot more people who served on these ships with similar issues.





 

stoker dave

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Thank you, Gryphonv, for your input.

I am no expert but I am confident that onboard ship you (and everyone else onboard) are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace (even if that workplace has the risk of being shot at, bombed or otherwise targeted). 

I am sure others will chime on as to whether a lawsuit is the right or only way to get some action or resolution on this issue. 
 

ModlrMike

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I may be wrong, but I thought that you couldn't bring a claim against the Crown whilst still serving. Perhaps FJAG can clarify in he's reading this one.
 

dapaterson

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Actions such as Merlo/Davidson (15% of all claims paid out) and Ross/Roy/Satalic ($15M + tax) have shown ambulance chasers lawyers that there can be very good money in suing the government.  The risk/reward of pursing an action that may fail but may also deliver millions in revenue would seem to be a powerful motivator.
 

Eye In The Sky

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ModlrMike said:
I may be wrong, but I thought that you couldn't bring a claim against the Crown whilst still serving. Perhaps FJAG can clarify in he's reading this one.

I could be wrong, but was the Col still serving when this happened?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-s-former-top-soldier-in-haiti-sues-for-6-2m-1.1279024
 

FJAG

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ModlrMike said:
I may be wrong, but I thought that you couldn't bring a claim against the Crown whilst still serving. Perhaps FJAG can clarify in he's reading this one.

Not generally my area of expertise and I'm not even sure if he was in or out at the time.

Generally there are specific issues which are governed by administrative processes within DND and in those cases the individual is bound to follow the process rather than going to court (injury on duty, loss of personal property due to service issues etc) Generally courts do not take any action until an administrative process is complete and then only to provide limited judicial review.

The four individuals and DND that he's suing is principally framed in defamation and I see no reason why he could not sue.

:cheers:
 
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