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Navy Investigating USS Louisiana Nuclear Submarine Collision into MSC Ship

USS Louisiana (SSBN-743) arrives home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a routine strategic deterrence mission. US Navy Photo

USS Louisiana (SSBN-743) arrives home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a routine strategic deterrence mission. US Navy Photo

The Navy is still determining the level of damage incurred on a nuclear ballistic missile submarine and a Military Sealift Command support vessel following a collision last week, service officials told USNI News on Monday.

On Thursday around 6 p.m. PST, USS Louisiana (SSBN-743) collided with the offshore support vessel USNS Eagleview (T-AGSE-3) in the Strait of Juan de Fuca off the coast of Washington state, Lt. Tia Nichole McMillen with Commander, Submarine Fleet Pacific (COMSUBPAC) told USNI News.

“There is impact damage on the aft port hull of [Eagleview] and the forward starboard hull of the USS Louisiana,” McMillen said.
“Both ships returned safely to port under their own power.”

USNS Eagleview (T-AGSE-3) when it was operating Hornbeck Offshore Services. Military Sealift Command Photo

USNS Eagleview (T-AGSE-3) when it was operating Hornbeck Offshore Services. Military Sealift Command Photo

COMSUBPAC has launched a command level investigation into the collision, McMillen said.
She did not provide a timeline for the completion of the investigation.

Louisiana is one of eight Ohio-class boomers based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.

According to press reports, Eagleview is one of four 250 EDF class offshore support vessels which were owned and leased to MSC by Hornbeck Offshore Services until their sale to the service in 2015.

The ships are equipped with a 20-ton crane and are tasked with supporting, “submarine and special warfare requirements,” according to MSC.

  • KenPrescott

    “A collision at sea can ruin your whole day.” — Thucydides

  • Michael Thornton

    Just imagine if it had been the USNS Harvey Milk!

    • dpaul

      Then it would have been described as a kiss and not a collision.

      • cincinnaticl6

        Is a ” rearender” an appropriate term?

        • dpaul

          OMG I think it is!
          This is not the Navy I grew up with but it is still the greatest Navy in the world dedicated to peace and open access to the seas for all nations.
          Go NAVY and the U.S. Marines.

  • Salvatore Mercogliano

    Eagleview and her three sisters are equipped with two 25mm Bushmasters, along with other weapons, and are designed to supplement the 87-foot Coast Guard cutters that are used to escort SSBNs to and from their home stations.

    The cutters were deemed too small if a larger vessel threatened them, hence the decision to lease the ships from Hornbeck. They were purchased by the government due to the legality of mounting weapons on leased commercial vessels and for security reasons.

    The vessels tend to steam right along side the boomers to provide a zone of protection.

  • John B. Morgen

    I guess some people from both vessels need to retake the basic navigation class all over again. Something is missing here, oh, that’s right good seamanship….

  • Donald Carey

    A description of the currents a vessel normally encounters in the area of the incident would have been nice.

  • William T Carter

    My poor girl. From the Omaha trophy in 06 and a MUC in 09 to this… Hard to fathom…( nautical puns ftw) Of course if this happened on the maneuvering watch(high probability) then the CO really should have been on the bridge and if so will be his head that rolls…along with the NAV and OOD lol…