Submarines: Another Collision in the Persian Gulf


September 6, 2005

In a rare incident, a U.S. nuclear submarine (SSN, the USS Philadelphia), bumped into with another vessel while both were traveling on the surface. The U.S. sub was on its way into Bahrain for a scheduled port visit when the 7,000 ton sub  hit a 52,000 ton Turkish bulk carrier. The accident occurred at 2 AM local time, on September 5th. The USS Philadelphia proceeded into Bahrain to get a closer look at the damage. There were no injuries on either ship and the damage was described as superficial. This is the second collision by an American nuclear sub this year. The earlier one was in January, when the SSN USS San Francisco, traveling at high speed, collided with an underwater sea mount. The San Francisco is still undergoing repairs, which will apparently cost over $60 million. In July, 2004, an American carrier ran over a small cargo ship (a dhow) in the same area, killing all on board the dhow. The Persian Gulf is a busy area, especially around the ports. While nuclear subs spend most of their time, while at sea, underwater, more training will no doubt be suggested for surface navigation.


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