If It Weren’t For Bad Luck . . .

. . . the HMS Astute wouldn’t have any luck at all. Remember when she ran aground two weeks ago? Well, apparently the grounding wasn’t the worst part of ordeal.

HMS Hapless: submarine in crash No2 with tug

An investigation was already being held into the grounding of HMS Astute on a shingle bank off Skye last month after the £1 billion vessel, whose key attribute is stealth, was turned into a tourist attraction.

Now a new inquiry is underway after it was revealed that having survived the incident relatively unscathed, the submarine was damaged in a collision with the tug boat hired to free it.

The Anglian Prince was contracted by the navy to help pull the sub to safety.

But during the operation the towing rope became caught in the tug’s propeller and pulled the vessels together, damaging the Astute’s starboard foreplane.

A navy spokesman said the sub will be repaired at Faslane and trials will resume in due course.

He added: “The inquiry into the damage sustained by Astute is now complete, although the findings have still to be released to naval officers.”

The Anglian Prince, based in Stornoway, is normally under contract to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, but the Ministry of Defence took over its operation temporarily to help Astute.

It was undamaged despite the tangle with a nuclear submarine and is back in Stornoway, having since helped a cargo boat which got into difficulty off Rum this week.

See also:
Stricken Sub Astute Damaged By Rescue Tug
U.K.’s Stricken Nuclear Submarine HMS Astute Collided With Rescue Vessel
Revealed: Rescue tug crashed into stranded submarine HMS Astute causing millions of pounds of damage
Tug damaged HMS Astute while freeing it
Astute damaged in tug collision
HMS Astute submarine damaged by towboat
Stranded British submarine damaged in tug collision: navy
Call for debate on scrap-threat coastguard tug
Not So Astute

Thirty year old tugboat 1, brand new, multi-billion dollar nuclear submarine 0, talk about adding insult to injury, what an indignity. The Astute seems to be jinxed.

/maybe they should just scrap the Astute and put the Anglian Prince into active naval service, the tugboat has a better anti-submarine warfare record

When Countries Collide

China and Japan have a long history of animosity toward each other and the recent “boat collision incidents” in disputed waters are only inflaming age old territorial disagreements. Japan’s continuing arrest of the Chinese captain is further escalating this standoff by the day.

Japan-China island tensions rise

The ins and outs of the spat over a Chinese fishing boat captain

Tensions are growing daily over Japan’s arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain following his ship’s collision with Japan Coast Guard vessels in the East China Sea.

Both countries have openly criticized each other over the incident, and the escalating diplomatic spat has led to public protests, the suspension of ministerial and higher-level exchanges, and the cancellation of a concert by pop group SMAP in Shanghai.

At the heart of the problem are a set of disputed islands in the East China Sea. Japan has administration of the islands, which it calls the Senkaku Islands, but both Beijing and Taiwan claim sovereignty as well, calling them the Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively. Following are basic questions and answers about the dispute:

Why was the Chinese captain arrested?

A JCG patrol vessel came across a Chinese fishing boat in Japanese-claimed territorial waters on the morning of Sept. 7.

After being warned to leave the area, the boat and JCG patrol ship Yonakuni collided. No details have yet been released as to who or what caused the collision. The Yonakuni then ordered the trawler to stop for inspection, which the Chinese captain refused, according to a JCG representative.

Later that morning, another JCG patrol ship, the Mizuki, was chasing the fishing boat to conduct an onboard inspection near Kuba Island when another collision occurred.

The Chinese captain, Zhan Qixiong, 41, was arrested the next day on suspicion of obstructing the public duties of coast guard personnel.

Japanese authorities are also looking into whether the captain engaged in unlawful fishing.

See also:
China-Japan relations sour as fishing boat dispute escalates
Japan-China row escalates over fishing boat collision
China Japan territorial spat over a fishing boat flares
Chinese fishing boat captain’s arrest reasonable
Japan rejects China’s claim over disputed island chain
Japan counsels against ‘extreme nationalism’ in row with China
China Severs Japan Ties Over Sailor Arrest
China’s Wen threatens new action in Japan boat row
China again urges unconditional release of trawler captain illegally held by Japan
Upping the Ante in China-Japan Clash
Hong Kong Activists Fan China-Japan Flames
Anti-Japan Sentiment Gains Strength in China
East China Sea Dispute: Why Japan’s Era of Quiet Power May Be at an End

Remember this? China has a history of physical confrontations at sea over disputed waters, so I’d bet good money that this latest incident was deliberately instigated by the Chinese and therefore I blame them. Japan has every right to fully investigate the Chinese captain until they get this episode sorted out to their satisfaction.

/I seriously doubt that this knock down, drag out diplomatic kerfuffle will ever boil over into a military conflict, but if it does, my money’s on Japan, last time these two countries went at it hammer and tongs, it didn’t go well for China

The M Star Mystery

What the hell happened here? Was it a collision, an explosion, a rogue wave, or something else? So far, your guess is as good as theirs.

Supertanker ‘was damaged by explosion or submarine’

A JAPANESE supertanker which sustained serious hull damage while sailing through the hyper-sensitive Straits of Hormuz was either hit by an explosion or in a collision with a submarine, officials in the United Arab Emirates said yesterday.

When the M Star supertanker reported it had been hit by an “explosion” late on Wednesday, officials in the UAE played down the claim, citing seismic activity and saying the vessel had been hit by “a freak wave”.

Yet yesterday, it was confirmed the crude carrier had been hit by an external force and a specialist on military attacks has been asked to help investigate damage to the 1,100-foot vessel laden with oil for Japan.

“What we know is some collision happened. We don’t know what it was,” said Captain Mousa Mourad, general manager at the UAE port of Fujairah.

See also:
Rogue Wave Is Suspected in Mideast Tanker Blast
Official: Wave not likely cause of Gulf ship blast
Plot thickens over tanker explosion
Cause of explosion on Japanese tanker in Hormuz remains unclear
Damaged oil tanker may have hit a mine
Mitsui O.S.K. Oil Tanker ‘Blasted From Outside’
Giant Supertanker Suffers Mystery Explosion
Japanese supertanker was in collision-official
Japanese tanker was damaged in collision, UAE official says
Japanese tanker may have hit submarine
Oil tanker ‘attacked’ off Oman
Mystery of Japanese tanker damage probed
Questions Swirl About Damaged Japanese Tanker
Oil Tanker Sails Back To Fujairah After Accident
Causes behind Oil Tanker, M. Star incident still mysterious
Japanese Supertanker Explosion Occurred Outside the Strait of Hormuz

A rogue wave sounds unlikely, at least to me. If it was an explosion, shouldn’t there be more discoloration and shrapnel marks or penetration, instead of just a big dent? And looking at the dent, if it was a collision with a submarine, the submarine would have had to be fully or at least partially surfaced. Why wouldn’t the M Star have seen it and where’s the damaged submarine?

/beats me, I have no idea