20 November 2006

Sub collides with ship off Japanese coast

This time, however, it was a Japanese sub.


Updated: 32 minutes ago

TOKYO - A Japanese submarine collided with a civilian vessel Tuesday in southern Japan waters, news reports said.

The Maritime Self-Defense Forces submarine collided with an unidentified civilian boat during surfacing exercise off the coast of Miyazaki on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, Kyodo News agency and public broadcaster NHK said.

Further details to follow....

Update 0741 21 Nov: According to the Globe and Mail, the ships involved were the Harushio-class submarine Asashio (SS 589/TSS 3601) and the Panamanian-registered Spring Auster.
The Maritime Self-Defence Forces submarine grazed the civilian vessel during surfacing exercises about 50 kilometres off the southeastern coast of Miyazaki on Japan's southern island of Kyushu, a defence agency spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in accord with agency policy.

No injuries were reported among the 75 crew members of the submarine Asashio. But the spokesman said officials found a dent in the top part of the sub, the apparent result of striking the hull of the ship while surfacing.

The civilian vessel was identified as Panamanian-registered 4,000-ton Spring Auster, heading for China, Coast Guard spokesman Takatoshi Nagasaki said.

He said that none of its 17 crew members — 16 Philippine nationals and a South Korean — were injured, but the extent of the ship's damage was not immediately known.

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