U.S. submarine damaged in South China Sea collision
The USS Connecticut arrives at Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state in 2012. (Ray Narimatsu/U.S. Navy)
By Dan Lamothe，The Washington Post, Today at 7:01 p.m. EDT
A nuclear-powered Navy submarine has been damaged in a collision in the South China Sea, injuring U.S. sailors but leaving the multibillion-dollar vessel operational, officials said.
The collision occurred on Oct. 2, but was not disclosed until Thursday. A Navy official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity, said keeping the matter quiet for several days allowed the crew of the USS Connecticut time to travel back to Guam, where the attack submarine is expected to arrive soon. Sailors suffered minor and “moderate” injuries, the official said, without specifying the extent of them.
“The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition,” the Navy said in a statement. “USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed.”
The Navy said in its statement that the service has not requested assistance to respond to the mishap, which was first reported by USNI News. The service plans to investigate what happened. The Navy official said it is believed the vessel could have collided with an inanimate object, such as a submerged shipwreck or shipping container.
The Navy said in its statement that the collision occurred “in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region.” The Navy official added that it was in the South China Sea, an area in which the United States has sought to keep open international shipping lanes as China makes territorial claims. It is not believed that China caused the collision, the Navy official said. The Connecticut was monitored by other U.S. vessels in the region as it moved to Guam, the official added.
The collision occurred during a busy time in the Pacific region, with the USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, and its escort ships moving through the South China Sea in recent days. The Carl Vinson more recently was spotted in the Philippine Sea, operating with two other aircraft carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan and the British HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The USS Connecticut is 353 feet long, and typically carries a crew of about 15 officers and 100 enlisted sailors, according to Navy fact sheets. It’s part of the service’s Seawolf class of submarines, a Cold War-era fleet designed to chase Soviet subs. The class was expected to include up to 30 vessels, but only three were built after the Cold War ended and the Pentagon’s priorities shifted, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
Always 77375 19 minutes ago
Not a clean pair of trousers on that boat.
The disturbing question is how did was it that they were not able to sense they were on a collision course with something so substantial?
Did someone forget to stick the magnetic "L" sign on the stern?
Seriously, a multi-million dollar sub and you can't detect an inanimate object on the seabed?
Good, but nothing definitively says the object was inanimate.
Not a good advertisement for sellling submarines....maybe the French willl be back in the game.
Japanese fishing boats reported seeing a large reptilian creature in the area just before the collision.