Cole Highlights Survivability
On 11 October, terrorists attacked the USS Cole (DDG-67) in the port of Aden, Yemen, at the mouth of the Gulf. About two hours after she moored, a small boat approached the U.S. guided-missile destroyer carrying a large explosive charge, which the two men on board detonated close to the ship's side. It tore a 40 x 40 foot hole in the destroyer's side abeam her auxiliary machinery space, above which was a crowded mess deck. The blast killed 17 sailors, some of whom were on the deck above. In addition, distortion of the deck above affected the adjacent bulkheads, so the ship flooded beyond the initial hole. Eventually both the auxiliary machinery space and the adjacent engine room were knocked out. The destroyer's crew shored up the affected bulkheads and maintained onboard power. The Cole's survival was a tribute both to her crew and to her designers and builders.