Over at my place I’ve been following a news story and am crossposting it here. Here’s a snapshot of how the story changed as the reports became more available, newest on top. We’ll know more tomorrow, but as of right now the stories are mostly unreliable. Bottom line as of this moment: Something happened to a French SSBN, and maybe something happened to a RN SSBN, and there might be a connection. It’s worth watching news stories like this just to see how the narrative frame is built, how the information presented changes, and what lasting impressions come from the trail of reports even if some reports are factually wrong.
Update: Earlier this week the story was that Le Triomphant bonked some kind of shipping container upon submerging off Brest, and that’s what caused minor damage to the sonar dome. Information’s pretty weak; first reports always wrong/always believed…
Update: Daily Mail confirms. They say the French boat’s sonar dome was wrecked in the collision.
Amphibian sailor Ken Adams heps me to an “exclusive” from the Sun UK (I know, I know). Single source, I can’t find anything in French on the web or English, it’s on Wikipedia already but only sourcing the Sun article. Removing the hyperbole and speculation, the article says:
The Royal Navy’s HMS Vanguard and the French Navy’s Le Triomphant are both nuclear powered and were carrying nuke missiles.
Between them they had around 250 sailors on board.
The collision is believed to have taken place on February 3 or 4, in mid-Atlantic. Both subs were submerged and on separate missions.
A senior military source said: “The lines between London and Paris have been hot.”
The MoD insisted last night there had been no nuclear security breach.
She was last night towed into Faslane in Scotland, with dents and scrapes visible on her hull. Triomphant limped to Brest with extensive damage to her sonar dome.
Update 16 Feb: Welcome Joel’s fellow bubbleheads! The post’s getting a little cluttered, so further updates are in the comment string.