USS Connecticut Collision

| November 2, 2021

SSN-22 USS Connecticut

Investigators have determined USS Connecticut (SSN-22) struck an uncharted seamount that grounded the nuclear attack submarine in the South China Sea.

“The investigation determined the submarine collided with an uncharted seamount while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region,” said 7th Fleet spokesperson Cmdr. Hayley Sims in a Monday afternoon statement. “Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet will determine whether follow-on actions, including accountability, are appropriate.”

ChipNASA and David send.

U.S. nuclear sub hit underwater mountain in South China Sea, Navy says

A U.S. Navy nuclear submarine that was severely damaged in an accident while submerged in the disputed South China Sea last month struck an uncharted underwater mountain, the Navy said Monday.

The U.S. Navy regularly conducts operations in the South China Sea to challenge China’s disputed territorial claims on small islands, reefs and outcrops, to the irritation of Beijing.

The 7th Fleet, which operates in the western Pacific, said an investigation had concluded that the USS Connecticut smashed into a geological formation and not another vessel on October 2.

“The investigation determined USS Connecticut grounded on an uncharted seamount while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region,” a 7th Fleet spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Two injured and no loss of life on board Connecticut, unlike the unfortunate seamount collision involving USS San Francisco near Guam in 2005.

So no Chinese submarine collision, but that doesn’t stop them from making the usual demands.

Thanks, gentlemen.


Category: China, Guest Link, Navy

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The Chinese are all ticked off over it, claiming the US sailed recklessly in those waters and that the news of the crash was withheld until the sub made it to Guam. Think that translates to “shit, we didn’t even know it was THERE” – maybe all that air activity trying to intimidate Taiwan starts looking a little risky to them now. Actually, not a bad piece of disnformzia… we tell them that one of our subs sustained damage in an area they think they should know about but didn’t, we get them to twist themselves into pretzels – might even get them to concentrate assets in an area we care nothing about. Don’t even have to wreck a sub, just re-use some old pictures of the San Francisco wreck.

Green Thumb

Bad optics, though.

No way around it.

Maybe the 0-6 was on the conn getting his next SHARP and CRT training instructions when it went down….?


Another Navy Crew is going to crash into a formation come December…but this crash will have more injuries…including the Navy Crew’s pride. gabn


Updating charts in a new patrol area?


That part of the world has some tricky waters, to say the least. I know the Nav and the QMs were always busy updating NOTAMS.

Even then, shit can sneak up real easy.

Finally, doing some thumbnail math, they weren’t anywhere near “disputed” waters, but YMMV.


Worth noting that what we consider Chinese waters and what they consider their waters are hugely different. Would think we would invent some sort of nav recon which wouldn’t sound like a train horn in a phone booth to our enemies. Ah well.


As I said when I sent this to the guys…
So many squid jokes, so many seamount/seamen/mount jokes. Squid Games indeed


The boat was just attempting to emulate its namesake. With no (financial) cliff available the craft used the next best thing, a completely immovable rock, propelled by concretely bad decisions.

OTOH, I hope the mount is ok.


Okay. Let me see if I can understand this. I’m not a Submariner, (although I have a son who spent 26 years doing that) and I thought that if sonar is able to pick up Humpback/Sperm whale turds that are sinking to the sea floor, sonar should be able to tell you if you’re about to run into a undersea mountain.

Somebody tell me if I don’t have this right. Thanx.


Okay, got it. Thank You.


Stupid question from a stupid groundpounder…

If they’re driving (sailing? piloting?) the boat in uncharted waters, isn’t crashing into the bottom of the ocean a more immediate concern than potentially being detected?

I’m not saying that they should have been using active sonar, but I’ve recently been trying to better understand naval and the submariner’s world is an incredibly difficult one with which to relate.

Buckeye Jim

Slightly nitpicking, but it was an uncharted seamount, not an uncharted area. They probably had charts that did not have this seamount charted or it was not located precisely on the chart. The oceans are more difficult to chart than land masses, especially underwater..


Hey, sh*t happens, as they say…


I appreciate the clarification, from both AW1ED and Buckeye Jim (please, pick nits; details matter).

There are a great many jokes that one could make about the situation, but I’ll freely admit that submariners do a job I would prefer not to (they make Namor look like a pussy). My inquiry was a serious one, and I thank you for responding seriously.


OK, now I have a question:

On what basis would any punitive action be taken, if – as it is purported – the seamount was uncharted, the crew was taking all due precautions, opsec was being maintained, etc.?

IMHO, punitive actions should only be taken for something the punished should have been able to avoid, in part to teach others not to make that mistake as well. If the crew had no way of knowing the seamount existed, and about where they were supposed to be, then what action(s) should they have taken, or take in the future?

I know that the attitude that one may be punished even without true guilt exists so that the brass can feel they are “doing something” (in which case I think they should go sit on the crapper until the feeling passes). Hope that doesn’t happen here.



The Navy punishes, even if you don’t do anything wrong. See the tale of Captain McVay (skipper of USS Indianapolis 1945) who was court martialed (and convicted) for losing his ship to enemy action. This guy even had the enemy sub captain who downed him testify on his behalf at the court martial!


Did you notice that they stopped losing football games when the rest of the service said it’s cool to be gay? Navy no longer had a monopoly on playing with balls.


*stopped winning…

I’m dumb.



I’m sure there are instances in the other services, but I’m from the school where you don’t punish someone for the unforeseeable or unavoidable. I like Nimitz’s mindset better.


Brannigan: “I dunno where we are, this whole sector is uncharted.”

Kiff: “It’s *not* uncharted, you LOST the chart.”

One of my favorite lines from Futurama. As a navigator it gets quoted often at work.


Chip called me dingus recently. It reminded me of my favorite episode:


One of my favorite shows of all time.


Mine too. Very nerdy, very funny, oh so quotable.

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

Hope the two injured crew members make a good recovery



Seriously, glad the injured crew are expected to make a full recovery.
As for China; I demand they stop being so demanding. And rude.


“Formerly” Uncharted Seamount now, hopefully…


“…one BLONGK! only….”