Missile cruiser tried to avoid hitting sub

The submarine USS Montpelier, shown Sunday, collided with a guided-missile cruiser off the Florida coast on Saturday afternoon.

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Montpelier (SSN 765) sustained damage but was operating under its own power Sunday after a collision with the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto.

Lt. Commander Brian Badura of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command said in a news release Sunday that the Montpelier arrived at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in southern Georgia. The San Jacinto arrived at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Fla.

Fleet Forces Command said that the Montpelier and the San Jacinto collided about 3:30 p.m. Saturday. No one was injured. An investigation is under way.

A Navy official told ABC News that the two ships were participating in a "group sail" along with another vessel off the coast of Florida. The three ships were participating in an anti-submarine exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment as part of the strike group for the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.

The Navy official said that at approximately 3:30 p.m. the bridge watch aboard the San Jacinto saw the Montpelier rise to periscope depth about 100 to 200 yards ahead of them. The bridge ordered an "all back," but still collided with the sub.

According to the official, the initial assessment of damage was that there was a depressurization of the sonar dome aboard the San Jacinto. Located below the water line of surface warships, sonar domes provide the bulbous shape to the bows of warships.

DefenseNews.com reported the vertical control fin of the Montpelier was damaged - either bent severely or sheered off - and the fin is not visible in the photos released Sunday. A Navy official confirmed Sunday evening the fin has been damaged.

The Montpelier, based in Norfolk, Va., was built by Newport News Shipbuilding. It was launched in 1991 and commissioned in 1993.


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