The American submarine USS Connecticut, which was attacked by a polar bear in 2003, collided with an unknown object in the South China Sea. As a result of the incident, 11 crew members received minor and moderate injuries. The submarine did not give an SOS signal and went to the naval base in Guam.
In a press release, the Navy says that the incident occurred on October 2 – during a dive.
The object, which the submarine collided with, “was not recorded by means of control.” Neither the size nor the depth of this object is still unclear.
Now the submarine is “stable and safe”, but 11 submariners were injured during the collision. They received injuries of moderate and light severity. The submarine’s nuclear reactor was not damaged in the accident.
“Crew safety remains a top priority for the Navy,” a US Navy source told USNI News.
The incident will be investigated. After the collision, the submarine did not send a distress signal, going to the naval base on the island of Guam, where it was supposed to arrive on October 8.
According to a military expert, historian Ivan Konovalov , the cause of the collision was a crew error and the lack of professionalism of the American Navy sailors. He noted that the Pentagon has repeatedly raised the issue of the qualifications of American submariners.
“There have been many collisions with civilian vessels of various US naval vessels, including submarines. Moreover, this attracted victims too, ”the expert told Izvestia.
CNN reports that the clash in the South China Sea took place against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between the United States and China. The journalists noted that the submarine took part in a “show of strength” operation of the American fleet – a large-scale exercise. They were also attended by ships from Japan, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the Netherlands.
The day before the incident, on October 1, 39 Chinese warplanes entered Taiwan’s air defense zone. US Secretary of State Blinken said that Washi-ngton is concerned about China’s “provocative military activities”. Taiwan is located in the northwest of the South China Sea, where the collision occurred.
The USS Connecticut submarine has already attracted the attention of the press: in 2003, she surfaced in the Arctic, breaking thr-ough the ice near the Ame-rican research station. At that moment, a polar bear was on the ice, which first studied the steering wheel sticking out of the ice for half an hour. Then the predator attacked the submarine.
Attack submarine Connecticut belongs to the Sea Wolf II family. The submarine was laid down at the Groton shipyard in 1992 and launched in December 1998. She was named after the state of Connecticut on the east coast of the US, where the boat was built.