Japanese officials have confirmed that a Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force submarine collided with the bulker, Ocean Artemis, yesterday.
A Japanese submarine, the Soryu (meaning Blue Dragon) collided while surfacing with the bulker Ocean Artemis, reports Japan Today.The diesel-electric sub was nearing the surface off the Japanese island of Shikoku when it hit the merchant vessel.
Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi told Japanese media that the crew saw the surface vessel through the sub’s periscope but were unable to take evasive action quickly enough to avoid a collision. Three of the sub’s crew were injured in the accident and the submarine sustained damage to its sail plane and communications equipment.
Due to damage to radio antennae, it was unable to communicate with its home base, but was able to steam back to port on the surface. The Soryu was finally able to communicate with base when she came within mobile phone range of the shore.
The 50,000dwt Ocean Artemis was en route from Qingdao to Okayama Prefecture with a cargo of iron ore. She apparently sustained no damage in the collision and none of her crew members were injured.