Cause of sub, support vessel collision under investigation, Navy says

No one was reported injured, Navy officials said.

PORT ANGELES — The cause of a collision between a nuclear submarine and an offshore support vessel in the Strait of Juan de Fuca is under investigation, a Navy official said Saturday.

The ballistic-missile submarine USS Louisiana and the Navy Offshore Support Vessel collided while conducting routine operations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca off the coast of Washington state at 6 p.m. Thursday, the Navy said.

No one was reported injured.

“The whole thing is under investigation right now,” Lt. Cmdr. Michael Smith, with Submarine Group 9 of the Navy, said Saturday.

“It’s hard to speak to what happened or how exactly extensive the damage is.”

He said there was “some damage to the starboard bow” of the submarine and that assessments of the damage of both ships is still ongoing.

Smith said he could not say where in the Strait of Juan de Fuca the incident happened and that he did not know the name of the Offshore Support Vessel because it is not part of Submarine Group 9.

Both ships returned safely to port under their own power, the support vessel to Port Angeles and the USS Louisiana to Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at jmajor@peninsuladaily news.com.

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