USS Connecticut collision

October 2nd USS Connecticut collided with an object underwater while in the South China Sea international waters.

15 crewmen with light to moderate injuries.

Sub stable and underway to Guam on the surface for assessment and repairs.

The “object” has not been named but could be anything fom a container to a wreck, subsea mining equipment to another vessel or drone.

Any ideas ?

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USS Connecticut (SSN-22) is a Seawolf-class nuclear powered fast attack submarine.

Bearing in mind that these subs have ample state of the art detection equipment like sonars, pingers and what not, it is curious that this could happen. Blind for a large object, large enough to damage the sub and to injure a number of sailors in the process. All sirens and bells should have sounded! Worrisome to say the least.

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Not really. Submarines, in order to remain stealthy, never transmit unless there’s a good reason because to do so would reveal their presence and one ping could provide sufficient information for a torpedo to be sent on its way. So they rely on their targets making a noise.

If the thing she hit was a Chinese submarine, it’s perfectly possible they were engaged in a cat and mouse game at close quarters. Alternatively, there are lots of possibilities depending on the depth the sub was at. At periscope depth and near the surface the sub is in much more danger of colliding with a quiet object than at a safe depth.


Thanks for the explanation. Sailing on purpose in the blind is kind of spooky. I understand that dropping for instance a spanner in a sub that this sound can be heard at large distances due to the fact that the hull will act as a large transmitter antenne all around coupled to the seawater. Also seawater is a very good medium for the propagation of sound waves, about 1500 m/sec, while the losses are small and signals therefore will reach far.

Covering tools with rubber or some other material would be a solution to prevent this kind of man made noise of occurring.

Would a container be enough to do damage to a Seawolf class ?

Presumably the crew injuries were caused by the crew being thrown by the collision

This suggests impact with something of significant mass, or terrain

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We will know all the details soon. Either the Chinese or one of the crew have probably contacted a Florida based accident attorney already.


A la the USS San Francisco.

Or, maybe something of low mass dropped from the air or over the side of a ship.

They do NOT run around with the fish finder on, other subs and ships could hear that from a long way off.

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Large parts in the middle of the SCS was marked as “insufficiently charted” and a warning to surface ship not to navigate in the area. That was some years back.
How well is it charted for subs operating at some depth, even now??

I concur. It depends on how tactical the sub is behaving at the time. If it is trying to stay hidden from other submarines or opposing forces, it will be most reluctant to ping actively, most likely at low speed for low noise transmission and to enhance listening ability. If it’s eavesdropping for electronic intelligence it would be at periscope depth an so needs to be very aware of shipping, fishing fleets etc. Drifting fishing nets can catch submarines. Other tactical situations determine what noise/electronic emissions the sub might make.

A bump like this suggests some sort of speed either from the sub itself or the thing that hit it. WE may never know.

A friend of mine was an engineer aboard a British nuclear boat doing a high speed dash across the Atlantic at about 30 knots. The sub struck the top of a hitherto uncharted peak of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at full speed and fortunately bounced up and over. That’s more than spooky.


it hit MH370

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I bet there was no watch looking out the window, breach of the coregs…lol

“Conn, sonar, CRAZY IVAN!”

In a Hunt for Red October mood now.


Actually USNS Connecticut collided with the brand new North Korean nuclear sub Kimilsub III trying to wipe out USA in a sneaky way.

In the Hauraki Gulf the Royal Naval Submarine Anchorite struck what is now known as Anchorite Rock, a pinnacle, well known to commercial fishermen but not by the hydrographer.
Although she was only doing three knots most lost their footing. It was tot time and the CPO’s finished their tot in record time in the prone position and the boat was surfaced with some alacrity.
There was only minor damage to the stem.

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Well the Navy literally has their own fleet of ships to do just this.

No ship or sub with this designation.

Commander, USN (Ret)

Was any "diversity " involved on the conn?

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A rather strange incident; I ignore who was finally declared responsible.

In 2009, I worked on a list of seamounts in Micronesia and I found this NoName-Seamount; only later, I learned that it was the ‘San Francisco Seamount’…
The top of the seamount is at -15m (clearly visible on GoogleEarth), the submarine hit at -160m.

Even today our fishermen have better local charts than the hydrographer with precisely located rocks and obstructions which they can trawl very close to without snagging. In the Gulf of Carpentaria there are numerous rocks and reefs named after the patrol boat that hit them. The fishermen knew all of them but that information is closely guarded. My rock I dubbed ‘Two Prop Rock’ but it’s still just marked as ‘Repd 1983’. Lucky I had three props.