Details remained scant two days after an unusual collision involving a U.S. Navy submarine and a U.S. Navy cruiser off the East Coast, notes Grumpy Editor.
On Saturday, a Navy news release --- the basis for a brief Associated Press story picked up in print and broadcast news --- identified the vessels as the submarine USS Montpelier and the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto.
The news release mentioned the collision occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, no one was injured and the extent of damage to the vessels was not clear.
Perhaps it was the weekend, but sparse details put the information released to media on par with limited World War II reports.
The Montpelier was launched Nov. 14, 1986 while the San Yacinto was launched Nov. 14, 1986. Both call Norfolk, Va. home port.
A story on the incident in the Virginian-Pilot, which covers the vessels’ home port, followed the AP information.
However, Luis Martinez, in an ABC News posting 5½ hours after the collision, reported three ships (including the aircraft carrier Harry S Truman) off Florida’s northeast coast were participating in an anti-submarine exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
Martinez quoted a Navy official saying the bridge watch aboard the San Jacinto saw the submarine Montpelier rise to periscope depth about 100 to 200 yards ahead and the bridge ordered an “all back,” but still collided with the sub.
According to the official, Martinez continued, initial assessment of damage was that there was a complete depressurization of the sonar dome aboard the San Jacinto.
After the collision the official said the submarine surfaced and communications were established between all the ships on the scene, Martinez added, and the two vessels involved were operating under their own power.