uss jacksonville fast attack submarine

An aerial bow view of the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS JACKSONVILLE (SSN-699) underway.

WASHINGTON – A nuclear-powered U.S. attack submarine struck a suspected fishing vessel shortly after passing through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf on Thursday, damaging one of the submarine’s periscopes but injuring no one, a Navy official said on the condition of anonymity.

The Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a statement the vessel appeared unaware of the incident, adding it “continued on a consistent course and speed offering no indication of distress or acknowledgment of a collision.”

The USS Jacksonville, a Los Angeles-class, nuclear-powered submarine, did not appear to suffer further damage, the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said.

“The reactor remains in a safe condition. There was no damage to the propulsion plant systems and there is no concern regarding watertight integrity,” it said.

The incident, which took place at 5 a.m. local time and is under investigation, follows an August collision between a U.S. guided missile destroyer and an oil tanker.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if its dispute with the United States over its nuclear program escalates. Washington says it maintains naval forces in the Gulf to ensure security in the region.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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  • Jill Lindsay

    How can a vessel be “suspected of being a fishing vessel” and how can a fast attack sub such as the Jacksonville, hit another vessel, without being aware of it? Sounds fishy.

  • Nigel Smith

    Was no one on watch in the Sonar room? Was fishing boat motoring, did it have a generator,what kind of fishing gear was being used, was it a sailing fishing boat, was it leaving a noise signature? Not enough info here to make a comment fairly.

  • Ross

    We’ve got a history of sub vs. surface world collisions in the Pacific Northwest. We had a Chilean Navy sub sink a Sailboat in the Straights of Juan de Fuca in the 1990’s, I recall a couple of incidents with subs snagging the gear of commercial fishing vessels, and there has been speculation that the unexplained loss of other fishing vessels might be explained by submarine collisions. I think that there are bigger risks to mariners but submarines aren’t always as vigilant as we would expect.

  • AHD

    Word on the street is that the mindset of Navy vessels (not limited to subs) is that they don’t need to adhere to Rules of the Road and that they own the water and everybody else moves. Does that have anything to do with it? It seems that they could benefit from some experienced navigators from the commercial side.

    • Damn Yankee

      I’d be more inclined to say that the U.S. Navy, at least the surface navy, is overly cautious. I’m constantly being asked for 5 mile CPA’s when I encounter them on approach to Norfolk. That being said, I see some of the most bone headed navigational maneuvers performed by Navy vessels. I happily give them a wide berth

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