Eleven sailors were injured, none seriously, when a Kitsap County-based submarine struck an object while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region on Oct. 2, according to U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs.
A Navy official said two sailors aboard the USS Connecticut sustained moderate injuries and about nine others had minor injuries like scrapes and bruises that were treated on board and did not require hospitalization.
The USS Connecticut (SSN 22), a Seawolf-class fast-attack, nuclear-powered submarine homeported at Naval Base Kitsap, “remains in a safe and stable condition,” a Navy statement said.
“USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed,” the Navy said.
The Navy will investigate the cause of the collision, which occurred while the sub was conducting operations in the South China Sea. Since the accident, it has arrived at the Port of Guam, according to a Navy official.
Officials said the sub did not strike not another submarine, according to The Associated Press. Possible causes include a sunken vessel, a sunken container or other uncharted objects.
In a much more serious submarine accident on Jan. 8, 2005, the USS San Francisco crashed into a large uncharted seamount, killing one crew member, seriously injuring others and severely damaging the submarine.
The USS Connecticut launched in 1997, and was transferred to the Washington home port in 2011. It can be used to conduct reconnaissance and protect Navy fleets.
The USS Connecticut crew faced other challenges earlier this year when they were the victims of a bedbug infestation on the submarine. It was unclear how it started, possibly in the aftermath of a port stop.
Crew members in March complained about itching and a lack of sleep.
The campaign to quell the outbreak included laying down diatomaceous earth to draw insects out of hiding as clothes were laundered, mattresses replaced and pesticides sprayed, according a Navy public-affairs officer.
The pests were eradicated by the time the submarine left Bremerton, according to a Navy official.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this story.
Editor’s note: The headline on an earlier version of this story gave the wrong location for the submarine’s home port.