HMS Ambush damaged in incident off Gibraltar 210716 CREDIT DM PARODY
Sea vessels

Incidents Between Submarines And Civilian Vessels

After a near-miss between a Royal Navy submarine and a civilian ship, Forces News has taken a look at other incidents involving submarines.

HMS Ambush damaged in incident off Gibraltar 210716 CREDIT DM PARODY

A report has found a Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine was at "serious risk of collision" with a ferry in 2018.

It found Navy crew had misjudged the range and speed of the civilian ship, with the two vessels coming within 50 to 100 metres of each other. 

Though the event will go down as a disaster avoided, it is not the first incident of its nature.

Forces News has taken a look at other incidents involving vessels on either side of the surface.

USS Greeneville And Ehime Maru - 2001

Nine people were killed on board the Japanese fishing training vessel Ehime Maru following a collision with an American submarine off Hawaii in February 2001.

Four teenagers were amongst those killed after the Japanese vessel sank.

At the time of the collision, USS Greeneville was performing an "emergency surfacing manoevure" for civilian guests on board, the US Navy said.

The names of the deceased teenagers, teachers and crewmen were engraved in a Honolulu memorial, whilst a US Navy recovery effort of the Ehime Maru reportedly cost $60 million.

US Navy divers swim along Ehime Maru during recovery operations off the Honolulu coast (Picture: US Navy).

USS Oklahoma City And A Liquid Natural Gas Tanker - 2002

US attack submarine USS Oklahoma City collided with what was at first an unidentiefied vessel as it was rising to persicope depth close to Gibraltar in November 2002.

It later transpired the nuclear-powered submarine had bumped into The Norman Lady, a liquid natural gas tanker owned by a Norwegian shipping company.

No injuries were suffered following the incident between the submarine's sail and the hull of the tanker, though the Norwegian company did report a leak on board.

The US Navy said the submarine suffered damage to its periscope and sail area.

Damaged submarine HMS Ambush pulled into Gibraltar following an incident 210716 CREDIT DM Parody
HMS Ambush (left) was damaged during a collision in 2016 (Picture: DM Parody).

HMS Ambush And A Merchant Vessel - 2016

It is almost four years since the Royal Navy's Astute-class submarine had to dock in Gibraltar following what the Navy described as a "glancing collision" with a merchant ship.

The incident happened as the 7,800-tonne, nuclear-powered attack vessel took part in an exercise off the coast of the British Overseas Territory.

Some external damage was recorded to the HMS Ambush, though none to its nuclear plant, with initial damage reports indicating no major damage to the civilian vessel

The submarine suffered "some external damage" but none to its nuclear reactor. 

No crew members were injured in the incident, though damage to HMS Ambush cost the Royal Navy £2.1 million.

Cover image: Damage to HMS Ambush following an incident in 2016 (Picture: DM Parody).