US navy nuclear submarine ‘struck an object’ in South China Sea

USS Connecticut heads for Guam to inspect what damage was done

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 07 October 2021 22:57
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<p>The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) departs Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for sea trials following a maintenance availability </p>

The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) departs Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for sea trials following a maintenance availability

Eleven sailors were injured when a US navy nuclear submarine “struck an object” while submerged in international waters in the Pacific.

Navy officials say that the USS Connecticut is in a “safe and stable” condition and is making its way to port in Guam for any damage to be assessed.

Two of the sailors onboard suffered “moderate injuries” and others received bumps, bruises and cuts during the incident in the South China Sea, according to the navy.

“The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of 2 October, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region,” said a statement from the navy’s Pacific Fleet.

“The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority. There are no life threatening injuries.”

And they added: “The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition.

“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 US Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”

A navy official told ABC News that there was no indication of a land mass in front of the boat when the collision took place.

There are also no indications that the submarine collided with another vessel, according to the unnamed official.

They said it that it could have been a stationary object like a sea mount - an underwater sea mountain - or an object being towed by a surface vessel.

A damage assessment of the submarine’s hull at US Naval Base Guam could give officials more information of what the vessel struck underwater.

“We will conduct a very thorough investigation to find out what happened,” said Lt Cmdr James Adams of the Pacific Fleet.

The submarine left Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton in Washington state for deployment in May.

The US navy has three Seawolf-class subs, which each cost more than $3bn to build.

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