Holy Flying Fish Captain, That’s A Submarine!

Photograph: Chris Bacon/PA.  The Vangaurd before the insurance claim.  Do they get a rental submarine under collision insurance?

Photograph: Chris Bacon/PA. The Vangaurd before the insurance claim. Do they get a rental submarine under collision insurance?

From the Gaurdian…

A Royal Navy nuclear submarine and a French vessel have been damaged in a collision deep below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant, which were both said to have been carrying nuclear missiles, are believed to have crashed while submerged on 3 or 4 February, according to reports. The submarines had a total of around 250 sailors on board…”They can’t see each other in the water,” an official said. The collision raises questions about the submarines’ sonar and radar and why they did not detect one another. Vanguard, one of Britain’s four V-class submarines that make up the Trident nuclear deterrent, was said to have visible dents on her hull as she was towed home last night. Triomphant’s sonar dome was reported to be extensively damaged.

Dr. M (1623 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





8 comments on “Holy Flying Fish Captain, That’s A Submarine!
  1. Holy nukes! Wait, how big is the ocean again?? It raises questions of why they were operating so close to each other. Notice they don’t disclose the location in the article…

  2. Kevin, ve could tell you vat dey ver doing so close, but zen ve vould have to drown you vith Milvalkies Best.

    You guys should come up here for Sea Shanty weekend and then hang out with the sub historians and submariners. Those guys are nuts! (In a purely good no fear sort of way) with lot’s of bumps and close calls to tell over a beer (Which obviously leaves the accuracy of all but the first tale open to interpretation!)

  3. These boats run very silent, and they are notoriously hard to detect. Being both state of the art boomers, it probably is simply that they literally bumped into each other. We don’t even tell our allies exactly where our boomers are operating. Embarassing, low probability, but not null. The real issue from the hole thing is mostly loss of face and financial damages for repairs. Hopefully only a few bruises that will heal quickly. If anything is shows how well the anti-sonar technology works.

  4. The probability can be dramatically increased if you allow for the existence of preferred corridors with (relatively) high traffic. It can further be increased if you are prepared to posit joint exercises.

  5. I think it was a rendezvous! The British sailors wanted a bit of good wine and arranged to trade something ???? for it by doing a rendezvous and using the rescue boat to effect the transfer, but the French captain decided to sample the wine first, and, well….

  6. They might get a rental, but when they check with their adjustor they’ll be told it only covers a compact domestic sub.

    Yeah, the whiplash is getting better, thanks.

  7. Someone ought to fix both glorious vessels post haste.

    What a compelling chance meeting. The joys of invisible mode!

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