Russian blames U.S. for sub collision

Jan. 9, 2007 at 1:30 PM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Russian naval expert has blamed a U.S. sub captain for a collision with a Japanese oil tanker near the Straits of Hormuz.

No one was injured when the nuclear submarine USS Newport News struck the Japanese ship, the Mogamigawa, on Monday night. Both vessels suffered minor damage. There have been no reports or alerts about any oil spills from the tanker or any radiation leak from the submarine.

"The incident involving the American submarine and the Japanese vessel in the Arabian Sea was due to intensive traffic of vessels in this region, which demands a high level of caution from captains of navy vessels, in particular from captains of nuclear submarines," an unidentified Russian naval analyst told the RIA Novosti news agency. "Most likely, the captain of the American vessel inadequately assessed the underwater and surface situation while the submarine was surfacing."

RIA Novosti noted that the incident wa snot the frist of its kind "between a U.S. submarine and a Japanese vessel. In February 2001, U.S. nuclear submarine Greenville ran into and sunk a Japanese fishing vessel near Hawaii, killing all nine people on board the Japanese boat."

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