USS Philadelphia Collides With Merchant In Gulf
Woke up to news this morning of Groton-based submarine USS Philadelphia (SSN-690) collided with the Turkish-flagged merchant M/V Yaso Aysen while transiting on the surface to Bahrain this morning. The Navy statement says there were no injuries on either ship, and Philadelphia is continuing on under her own power. (In collisions with merchants, the submarines normally make out the best, since their hulls are so much stronger than any surface ships hull.)
Chapomatic discusses how the "three kiss" principle applies in this situation.
Expect more coverage as additional information comes out over at our group submarine blog Ultraquiet No More.
Staying at PD...
Update 1036 05 Sep: The progressives at Democratic Underground display their ignorance (with a couple of notable exceptions). No discussion yet as to whether or not Bushitler ordered the collision as a way to distract attention from New Orleans or the new Chief Justice nomination.
The current AP article has a little more background and info:
"The USS Philadelphia was traveling on the surface of the Gulf when it hit the Turkish-flagged M/V Yaso Aysen at around 2:00 a.m. local time, said a statement from the 5th Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain.
"The collision happened about 30 miles northeast of Bahrain, said Breslau...
"Breslau said the Turkish ship, a bulk carrier, suffered minor damage to its hull just above the water line.
"The ship weighed anchor at the site of the crash and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel was sent to offer help, Breslau said. An initial inspection found the cargo vessel to be seaworthy."
While this happened at night in a fairly crowded section of water, I continue to be amazed that U.S. Navy vessels continue to allow ships to get close enough to them in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf, especially when we've heard reports that Al Qaeda hopes to blow up an explosive-laden boat next to a warship. Granted, submarines don't have the best maneuverability, and merchants frequently have few people on the bridge to communicate with, but it really is the warship's responsibility to keep clear if there's a chance the other ship might be trying to collide with you (there's nothing in the Rules of the Road about that... although I admit that the only thing I remember is "... a vessel engaged in mine-laying always has the right of way" or something like that).