The Navy's USS Miami Will Be Scrapped Due to Budget Cuts

Well, that Rolling Stone article about rising sea levels and freak weather did theorize that eventually Miami would be damaged so badly that the federal government would decide it would just be more cost effective to cut its loses and let it be destroyed. We just didn't think it would happen so soon.

Thankfully, at least in this case, we're talking about the Navy's USS Miami submarine. The nuclear sub was a victim of an on-board fire last year, and due to budget cuts the Navy announced yesterday it would use it for scrap rather than restore it.

On May 23, 2012 the USS Miami was sitting in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, undergoing scheduled maintenance when it caught fire. The blaze took 12 hours to extinguish. Seven firemen and one crewmember were injured. Eventually civilian employee Casey J. Fury admitted that he had set the fire by lighting some rags on fire. He claimed he just wanted to get out of work early. He's now serving 17 years in prison, and was ordered to pay back $400 million in restitution. Of course, that's not going to happen. People who set fires to get out of their shipyard job early don't tend to be billionaires.

Originally the ship was going to be repaired, but faced with budget cuts the Navy decided to scrap it. Its last official day in service will be tomorrow.

"The Navy and the nation simply cannot afford to weaken other fleet readiness in the way that would be required to afford repairs to Miami," Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge said in a statement.

Of course, the decision won't have any real effects locally. Though citizens and politicians in Maine, where the ship is headquartered, are none to pleased.

To us it's just a sad and somehow suitably ironic end to a ship named in our city's honor. It's also the first warship to be lost in an American port since the American Civil War. Though, there's always a chance Miami could get a new ship with its namesake. This USS Miami was the third in the Navy's history. Two others were in use during the Civil War and World War II.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Munzenrieder