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Attack sub collides with ship in Persian Gulf

Jan. 10, 2013 - 06:10PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 10, 2013 - 06:10PM  |  
The Navy is investigating an incident in the Persian Gulf involving the attack submarine Jacksonville, which struck a vessel with its periscope Thursday, according to a Navy release.
The Navy is investigating an incident in the Persian Gulf involving the attack submarine Jacksonville, which struck a vessel with its periscope Thursday, according to a Navy release. (MC1 David Mercil / Navy)
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An attack submarine collided with a small, civilian vessel in the Persian Gulf on Thursday, damaging one of the sub's periscopes but not harming anyone on either vessel, 5th Fleet said Thursday.

The attack sub Jacksonville was at periscope depth at 5 a.m. when it collided with the unidentified vessel.

"Damage appears to be limited to one of Jacksonville's two periscopes," 5th Fleet said in a statement Thursday. "The reactor remains in a safe condition, there was no damage to the propulsion plant systems and there is no concern regarding watertight integrity."

A Navy official familiar with the initial reports said the top portion of the periscope had been sheered off while the lower part was left bent, a condition first reported by The Associated Press.

The other vessel continued on its course and speed and did not respond to hailing calls, officials said. A subsequent P-3 Orion search didn't locate any vessels in distress and 5th Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Marissa Myatt said the Navy had not been contacted by the vessel, which appears to be a small fishing vessel from reports.

Jacksonville is transiting the Persian Gulf and will head back into port to get the damages assessed, Myatt said. It is the sixth Navy vessel to sustain a collision at sea since May.

5th Fleet said the incident is under investigation. Investigators are attempting to identify the other vessel using the ship tracking system AIS.

Jacksonville left its home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Nov. 5 for a six-month deployment. For more than half of the crew, this would be their first cruise, the commanding officer said at the time.

"They are anxious to go out there and do what submarines do at the pointy end of the spear," Cmdr. Nate Sukols said in a Nov. 6 Navy news release.

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