Nuclear Submarine Crashes Into A ‘Mystery Object’ In South China Sea

A report cites that 11 sailors suffered minor to moderate injuries in the collision.

Credit: Bloomberg

The ocean is huge and it’s hard to say what’s lurking down below.

Recently, a U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarine collided into an object while submerged in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the Navy. They also added that no life-threatening injuries were reported.

“The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational,” U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement, saying that the extent of the damage from the October 2nd incident is “being assessed.”

A U.S. Naval Institute News report, which cited an unnamed defense official, said that 11 sailors suffered minor to moderate injuries when the submarine hit an unknown underwater object in the South China Sea.

It’s been a few years since something like this has happened, too.

The last known incidence of a U.S. submarine striking an underwater thing took place back in 2005, when the USS San Francisco struck an underwater mountain in a collision that killed one sailor aboard.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the U.S. should release details of the collision, adding that “American assertiveness in the region was ultimately to blame.”

“The U.S. side has been making waves in the South China Sea under the banner of freedom of navigation. This is the source of this accident,” Zhao Lijian, said.

The recent collision comes just weeks after Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. announced a new security arrangement. The so-called AUKUS pact also created a rift with France, which saw a $66 billion deal to provide Australia conventional submarines voided in favor of a deal for American-made nuclear-powered ships.

“Also this incident has shown that the sales of nuclear submarine through AUKUS to Australia will lead to the dissemination of nuclear technology and materials and intensify regional security risks,” Zhao added. 

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Matt Sterner

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