Naval News – Japanese Navy Submarine hit bulker while surfacing – 08.02.2021

The crew of the Japanese Navy Soryu Class Diesel-electric submarine SS 501 SORYU suffered minor injuries, while the submarine suffered damage to her mast, after they surfaced underneath a Hong Kong homeported 229 metres long bulker OCEAN ARTEMIS.

The submarine was in the process of surfacing about 27 nautical miles south of Cape Ashizuri on Japan’s south-western island of Shikoku when she collided with the bulker, the Maritime Self-Defence Force said. It is currently unclear why the submarine did not detect the commercial ship’s presence before it surfaced using sonar technology. Defence minister Nobuo Kishi said the submarine, which carries a crew of around 65 people, temporarily lost communication signals due to the damage to her antenna mast of which her crew were forced to use a mobile phone to call for help and 3 crew were injured –

The 229 metre bulker OCEAN ARTEMIS built in 2011 was transporting 90,000 tons of iron to Okayama in western Japan after leaving the Chinese port of Qingdao last Friday with 21 Chinese crew members and currently anchored off Kobe, Japan. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga instructed authorities to confirm whether the vessel was safe, and to provide rescue if necessary.

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Published – Tuesday 9th February, 2021.