The following images were released by the Navy today. Between these three one can see just about everything there is to see regarding the USS Hartford (SSN 768) damage.

Click each image to see the higher resolution photography at Looks like it was a hard enough collision for the sail to get knocked to the starboard pretty good.

No sailors were killed, and all sailors who were injured returned to duty.

Posted by galrahn in Navy

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • Byron

    Broke the welds right around the sail. It’s either make about 6 knots all the way home submerged, or on the surface all the way. Wonder if she might have to come home like the Cole? Damn, that hurts just to look at it.

  • FDNF Squid

    Good thing no one was hurt! Hard to believe looking at that photo…looks like more OPTAR and TADTAR money to be pinched away to fund unscheduled repairs.
    BTW I heard that no watertight doors will close below the main deck on the Port Royal, wonder how feasible it is to fix that???

  • Byron

    I hope that is not true. If it is, you might as well send this one to the breakers, it means that while on the reef, a lot of things got bent. I can picture it, but it’s hard to believe all the doors, hatches and scuttles won’t close. If it’s true, bad, bad news, the worst kind.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Did we just become a 285-ship Navy?

  • FDNF Squid

    Any sub types want to venture a price tag on a bent sail?

  • Byron

    This yardbird will guess-timate somewhere north of 3 mil. Pertinent question is she scheduled for re-fueling? If we’re talking a couple of years, she might not be repaired.

  • FDNF Squid

    That’s what I was wondering about…I heard that the earlier 688 flights will be mostly chopped up soon but then again I am just a surface guy. Sad to think of a SSN getting knocked off at a young age but they could always cannibalize for parts.

  • FDNF Squid

    I wonder if someone could get a few Blue Marlin picks on the site? That ship is pretty amazing!

  • FDNF Squid

    Here’s a good link to the Blue Marlin hauling the Cole back to CONUS in 2000.

  • Wow. That is incredible.

  • SBX being delivered to Hawaii via Blue Marlin the long way from Galveston, TX.
    – SJS

  • Byron

    Would love to see the transit around the Horn, going to be “interesting”.

  • Bill

    Upcoming Congressional Hearings are going to be “Quite Horrible”, to say the least.

  • Gerald Forseth

    Deja Vu all over again , as in 1986 when Nautilus hits Essex and sheared about 1/4 of our sail off !!! Sheet Happens !!

  • Here are some photo’s of the Nautilus-Essex Collision.

  • Tim McCann
  • Dee Illuminati

    Amazing photo

  • Jay

    I assisted the team bringing COLE back on BLUE MARLIN. MSC chartered the BLUE MARLIN when she was owned by OHT (Offshore Heavy Transport). Both MARLINS (BLUE & BLACK) were bought by Dockwise. They have a great website. There are other flo/flo companies & ships out there (none are US Flag), and some of the companies have carried other subs (diesels/nukes) for other countries.

    It all depends (if they Navy makes that decision) on the availability of the flo/flo ships. NAVSEA, to their credit, developed a Heavy Lift/Dry Docking unit, (Reservists) that assists NAVSEA with these and other salvage efforts.

    Stand by for news.

  • Ted Tomasz
  • You call that damage? In 1966 (not 1986) the Big N collided with the Essex. It took the bridge and a lot of metal. No dents in ours.


  • One more comment. You have not lived until you have been questioned at a Navy Board of Inquiry. Somebody’s %&%^& is grass.


  • UltimaRatioReg


    In 1966 that was THE Essex, right? CVA-9? Anybody get killed in that one?

  • It was the Essex. Nobody was killed. However, a steward who was not at his battle station, but rather screwing around in the forward room, fought the man trying to dog the water tight door in the torpedo room trying to seal the compartment. The steward knocked him out of the way, opened the door and slammed it on the man’s arm that was trying to close the door. That guy closed the door and dogged it with one arm. The torpedo room was being dragged up into the screws of the carrier so I guess it was rather loud. However, we got it down enough between flooding and using the superstructure deck to plane down that we cleared the screws. The guy who closed the door was a cook whose battle station was in the forward room. He had a bruised arm but was otherwise ok. That is the way I remember it. I was in the maneuvering room on the propulsion panel starboard shaft.

  • Byron

    Thanks for sharing with us, Jim, great to hear from someone who’s been there and done that, and damn neared paid a high price for the tale.

  • Jerry Forseth, who commented above, was in the engineroom as a Machinist’s Mate. He was there too. He got the date wrong, but, at his advanced age (unlike me) it is forgivable.

  • Jim Kronenwetter

    I was on the Nautilus propulsion panel port shaft when the Essex. The Essex screws wre mighty close. Neaves is right, Forseth is of advanced age…..

  • John Purtzer

    How in the hell could this happen with all the high tech gear on board. The skippers ass is grass because someone was asleep at the switch. This kind of accident doesn’t make sense to me…who can explain?

  • Christopher J. Pauli

    When will SOMEBODY raise hell over the elemination of
    Quartermasters on Submarines? This rate held the CO’s
    respect and reinforced our nautical traditions and SEAMANSHIP
    from the Bridge to the Attack Center, from Bow to Stern!

    BASIC Seamanship is seriously wanting in today’s navy!

    571 A-Gang, Lola 1959 – 1962

  • Sam Kotlin

    Purtzer: The ‘high tech gear’ is designed to gather information in a difficult environment, not to serve as an oracle. Acoustic conditions can negate the best sonar, it’s dark at night, etc. – naive to think submarines contain some magic gadget that tells all.

    And all this chatter about navigation and QMs is just that – chatter. Merits aside (simplifying the rating structure is always painful and almost always a good thing), there’s nothing known yet in this case that implicates navigation in any way. Wrong soapbox.

  • A. Wright

    Indeed, it’s a horrible thing. When the USS Newport News (SSN 750)collided with the Mogamigowa in January 2007, we ended up taking one of her missions. Obviously, other boats are going to have to take up the slack until it’s determined that Hartford is salvagable, or [better put] operational. One issue that people may not understand is that even with all the “new-fangled” gear that boats have now-a-days, it all boils down to who you have on the scope and whether or not the guy can see what sonar MIGHT hear.

    I agree (even as a currently active navy submarine Torpedoman) that Quartermasters should never have been “lumped” into the ET rating conversion – just as Torpedoman and Machinst’s Mates. Idiocy.

    TMC(SS) – SS581, SSN700, SSN680, SSBN732, SSN719

  • Where was the sonarman? On the Big N the sonarman reported the carrier bearing 090 closing fast, at least 3 times, as we came from deep to attack depth. Our quartermast was not involved. The officers are the ones who did not believe the sonarman.

  • Spade

    Jeez, how many 571 guys are on here?

  • Sam Kotlin

    Jeez, if you can’t trust a sonarman, who can you trust?

  • PK

    FDNF Squid:

    on the PR water tight doors and scuttles. does not close mean not close or won’t pass the chalk test?

    biiiiiig difference.

    not passing chalk test is pretty common especially after heavy weather sailing, thats why they have those really thick rubber gaskets on them, warped so badly that you can get a finger in the gap means cut the door out and probably replace it. (theres a fsn for doors in a box out of mechanicsburg. should pass the chalk test laying on the pier.)


  • Frizz

    I guess some trip wire did not work. Qms not at default and correct on wrong soapbox, but has a point. Facts wiil tell all evils.

  • 688 Sailor

    How could no one in Control see that thing coming? What is the port royal??? Hartford hit the New Orleans, which happens to be the newest ship in the Navy! I do agree…someone(more than one) is getting a desk job. For those of you who have knowledge about nuclear submarine makeup you’ll get a real kick out of some of the Anti-nuclear articles about this incident. I have a good feeling the Hartford will be coming back o the US on her own power. I also foresee a lot of sailors being bored out of their minds in Bahrain for a while.

  • Sam Kotlin

    688 Sailor:

    Only one eyeball at a time in Control gets to look out the window in this class. And potentially was a going-to-PD/emergency-deep situation vice steady state. All speculative – your question sure to be asked, but suspect the answer is non-trivial.

    PORT ROYAL is the DD that ran up on the bricks off Hickam … and stayed there for awhile. Bad rice.

    Return to home waters surfaced will be a tough transit and – with no periscopes – dicey if the seas get really hilly. Sorta doubt it, and that’s assuming decent structural integrity for the sail.

  • Submarine GRAYBACK

    Looks like all the most sophisticated electronic gear in the
    world and continuous on going training (24-7) doesn’t mean
    a thing without PEOPLE taking a real sense of responsibility
    for their professional actions. Sad state of affairs…indeed.
    And YES, the loss of the Quartermaster Rating was just another
    nail in our “politically correct coffin”. Is a submarine still
    a submarine without a Quartermaster? IMHO the Quartermaster
    Rating was one of the best in the Navy. Praying for safe passage
    of both crews. Carry on!

  • Sam Kotlin

    Ratings consolidations occur for two reason: save money and accommodate evolved technology. Has nothing to do with PC – that dog won’t hunt. (Hey, I was disappointed when they did away with right-arm ratings – these new changes are easy.)

  • hartford faithful

    i served 5 years as a machinist mate, and the one and only boat I ever served on was the USS Hartford, and it kills me to see her like that. As far as being repaired goes, if that can’t be repaired, salvaging off other ships is a real possibility. In 2003 the hartford ran aground off italy, screwed up her rudder, propeller, and a few other systems. A lot of the repair parts came from the USS Baltimore, decommissioned in 98. Thus the Hartford is a 688i with the rudder of a 688. So salvaging is a possibility, and I would hate to see her decommissioned. As for the cause of this mess, it may be biased opinion, but I find it hard to believe someone on board the Hartford could mess up this badly. I get the feeling the Navy is simply not revealing all the facts for some reason.

  • USS Bentsail RC-div’er

    Well they did want a new MTS to replace the 626 or the 635. Whoo hoo Charleston here we come!

  • Scott

    When a submerged submarine hits a surface ship, someone on the sub screwed up. Can anyone think of an instance where that was not the case?


    I have “word” that either the upper or lower bridge access hatches are damaged and the boat may not be able to submerge (hope it was the upper hatch). This was a close call……but can be repaired with a 30-60 day yard availability.

    They can steam to a yard (PH may be the closer)……..on the surface – nasty ride for the crew but doable. It the sprung hatch is upper they could submerge and steam her to yard but if scopes are inop – would be risky. This is definitely a yard repair job.

  • Sam Kotlin

    If they RTP CONUS on the surface with no scopes, they are taking a big chance on the weather. There are conditions in which the bridge cannot be manned. Comments?

  • I wonder if the scopes are usable. It ould seem they got bent, at least. Any 688 guys want to clarify that from the pictures? I am very glad I am not bringing it back. What a ride they will have especially if the sea kicks up. At 15 knots, that will be a long trip.

    I think Australia is a good place to go. They still remember the Battle of the Coral Sea so the boat sailors will have some good liberty.

  • Byron

    Well, to Pearl, it’s BACK through the SoH, east through the IO, and either the long, long way around Oz to keep deep water, or knuckle bite the other way. Going west would take a long damn time. Serious suckage, any way you look at it.

  • I contacted an Australian friend of mine about a suitable place for the Hartford to go for repairs. I think a lnog trip in its condition is a bit risky. Here is what he said.


    Garden Island in WA, near Fremantle, is the main naval force harbour.

    However there are major shipbuilding facilities on the east coast at Newcastle close to Sydney

    Hope all is well with you.



  • USS Bentsail RC-div’er

    3 Yards have bids in on us, personally im hoping EB gets it, (i dont feel like moving again). also PNSY and PHNSY. Im hoping the Navy wont send us to pearl, and furthermore, if we go there, ill never go to sea again on this tour.

    greetings from Bahrain.

  • The Nautilus spent 15 month at Portmouth refueling the reactor. Being the first reactor in a sub, BUSHIPS had progressed and tightened specification such that the Nautilus could never have met them at all. There were lots of BUSHIP alts, like every three days. That is why a 105 day refueling lasted 15 months. EB would be good. We got our sail repaired there.

    I don’t envy you the trip home, unless you can submerge safely. I was on the Halibut back in 1964, when it was still a missle boat. It could only go 15 knots flank submerged. Any trip took many weeks.

    Good luck.

  • Byron

    RC-div’er, hope you get a good deal. You guys have had enough misery for one cruise, you don’t need any more grief.

  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyarder

    Hartford, I believe, just underwent a major overhaul recently. I have heard all sorts of rumors flying around, I know that we are trying to get the work up here in Portsmouth. Thank god no one was killed.

  • USS Bentsail RC-div’er

    Hey PNSY guy, yea we had a great DMP up there, (if i ever see the head of 2340 again it would be too soon though.) I loved Kittery, but to be honest im just not up for the move, Not to mention, the navy is trying to screw us with not giving us a change of homeport, so no DLA or a PCS type move.

    OH by the way, we cracked a frame. Thats right, the whole bloomin frame is busted, and they have found 5 other cracks in frames or the P-hull. I seriously hope they either do the whole front end over from scratch, or turn us into an MTS.

    And now to take my optional (mandatory) survey about why nukes arent staying in…

  • Is that bean wagon still there in Portsmouth? How about the Frosted Glass? They used to be good and I spent many a night in the Glass. The guys on the work barge made cannons on the lathe. We did lots of comshaw with the yard birds. Jiggs even had a barrel of an antique Sharp’s buffalo rifle chromed. It was an accident, of course. He took it up to a shop to get it polished but they misunderstood and chromed it. Jiggs was sick! Bruce (Binding Energy) Johnson even comshawed a cleaning crew for field day in the reactor compartment every Friday. Friday was the day we had “bugs” (fresh lobsters.) Portsmouth is good duty.

  • USS Bentsail RC-div’er

    Yea Jim, we had a great time, Im a big shooter, so during the summer of 06 I pretty much lived at the South Berwick Range. As for the Frosted Glass, I dunno, we did our partyin up in Dover and in Durham, mmmmmm UNH chicks. As for havin yardbirds field day, no thanks, more trouble than they are worth.

  • Dennis Mosebey

    How can something like this occur? Was there not a sonar scan and scope check prior to ascending? Or is it possible the surface ship changed direction at the last minute as she started up and then she could not blow negative in time? I am not a submarine sailor but am familiar with the attack sub Ops and just do not see how such happens. Can someone enlighten me? Not trying to blame anyone just wanting some knowledge. Thanks. Dennis

  • Byron

    Bentsail, depends on which bunch of yardbirds you asked. Some of us take great pains to do work we are proud of, and have an enormous amount of respect for our customer: you.

  • We got along with the yardbirds for the most part. One day the old man wanted to move the boat down the pier about 100 feet or so. Well, that meant the electricians had to move the shore power cables. There were some barricades and other crap that had to be moved. Shop 51, shop 72 and shop 99 (I think those are the shops) would not do any work that was not the function of their shop. Meanwhile, nobody could get coordinated. A 1/2 hour job was escalating into a 1/2 day ordeal. The old man told the Electrical Officer to move the cables. They were moving the boat on the capstan. After waiting for a time, the E-officer said move the barricades and cables, which we did. The unions were unhappy (mostly the shop stewards) but they decided that their lack of coordination was not worth a brawl on the pier. Those were the days!

  • Byron

    And that is the reason why I have never worked at a union yard. Never one bit of “Can Do!” with those yokels, especially if it gets in the way of union rules.

  • ex sub nuke

    Been a while but if I remember correctly there is not a heck of a lot of room ( depth ) in the gulf to put around in a sub and angle of dive or rise was limited to 7 degrees to keep from scraping bottom. Really dicey there with the amount of traffic too and Sonar at passive is heavily dependent on where everyone is and what they are doing IE super dangerous place to be. Damage looks pretty extensive and expensive. Don’t know if they still have the floating dry docks in Guam or even Japan for some get me home repairs but in any eventuality it is going to be a long, slow, super uncomfortable ride home. I cannot see them making 15knots all the way. The crew would be too sick to function most of the time, best place for a sub to be is underwater, otherwise it is like riding in a beer can. I can see it being termed “Barf Pac”. At least they are on their own steam remember USS Helena’s “Tow Pac” after their reduction gear fiasco?

  • PNSY’er

    You say you’ve cracked a frame? The hull/frames will need to be repaired, and that will require an extensive stay in dry dock. I would think you would be forced to go to either PHNSY or PNSY due in fact that EB doesn’t do in service hull checks, as far as I know. I would suspect that the enitre Bridge trunk will be removed/replaced so that a thorough check of the hull in that area can be done. We’re there any issues opening any of the hatches? (Weapons or Bridge trunk?)? Of course this is all work topside, who know’s how bad that bow plane is. I would think that is probably bent parallel witht he hull…You guy’s are so lucky a scope didn’t get ripped out of the hull!! Hartford would be a great candidate for a Virginia class sail instead! The hulls are so similar, I’m sure that it could be retrofitted!!

  • USS Bentsail RC-div’er

    Well the bridge truck has a dogleg. they wont even open the weapons shipping hatch to inspect it. the clamshells were opened with a torch.

    PNSYer do you guys have a dock for us?

    Byron, there are good yardies and bad yardies. My family worked Chas. Naval Shipyard till BRAC took it away. sorry but the memories of the (poop)heads linger better than the ones of the good guys.

  • Byron

    Know what you mean, Bentsail! I got a long mental list of yardbirds who don’t get the phone call when we get a big job starting.

  • PNSY’er

    RC-div’er, we’ll make room here at PNSY. As you can imagine, we are pretty solidly filled up RIGHT now, but that doesn’t mean by the time you get over here that we wouldn’t have a hole to put you in. Where there would be so much work on the hull, and that is truly a PNSY specialty now, I would think that NAVSEA would lean in our direction, but…Another scenario would be us traveling to where ever you make dock to do the work, like we did on Newport News. I know not to many people here about this, but PNSY did the ripout and reinstall on Newport News Casualty damage @ Newport News Shipyard. We did it WAYYYYYY UNDER TIME AND WELLLL UNDER BUDGET TOO! And Newport News Shipyard was more than willing to work with us, as they did, and things went GREAT! The one thing you can bet on, is that no matter where you go, you will be treated as a #1 top priority, unlike just another DMP, SRA, etc…

    It’s unfortunate that you have had bad memories of some of us ‘yarbirds,’ but in the end, as a whole, I would have to say that as a group, PNSY is not so bad. Most of us try so hard to follow the rules Navsea puts forward for us, that we end up chasing our tails most of the time. The rules are so strict, and expected to be followed to a letter of the law, that it makes following them and staying on budget/schedule a difficult thing. I have been to all 3 other yards, and, in my opinion, Norfolk was a joke, because the only way they can get work done, is buy the volume of people. That place is packed, and not much bigger than PNSY! Puget Sound Naval is pretty damn good. They have done a good job of juggling surface craft and subs, but the sub work they are use to is scrapping…Not a bad business to be in these days…And finally, this leads me to Pearl. Pearl has been claiming MAJOR successes in the last few recent months with their new Shipyard Commander, Commander Gregg Thomas. His last area that he worked at was PNSY, during our most successful years. He has done a good job of making Pearl look pretty damn good. BUT, as my recent experience there has proven, PHNSY is NOT doing MOST of the work. They have been farming it out to other shipyards. For example, a recent overhaul there had NNSY doing a SHIPALT, PNSY doing another SHIPALT and EB doing literally 75% of the maintenance work. I was also amazed to see such a lazy, ‘I’m untouchable’ attitude there. But hey, as Commamder Thomas will attest, they are setting goals and meeting them every time now, which is all that the government will care about the next BRAC…

  • PSNS’r

    Between the GN conversions and continuous major avails and Bow restoration on 711, continuous maintenance on SSN21 class plus Trident ERO’s and D5 conversions……we do more than scrap them…………We work on all classes and our Structural work is second to none. The location would suck for a crew out of Groton, but make no mistake, Puget can handle any and all work on Hartford.

  • PNSY’er

    Your right, PSNS’r, I’m sorry if I seemed short at description above. I really didn’t give everyone the positive credit they deserve…Puget ABSOLUTELY can handle this work! In fact, I’ve been more impressed with Puget, than any other yard, including my own!

    The scuttlebutt around here, is that the Hartford will end up in a floating dock at EB…

  • randy

    I hope they bring her home to Newport News,Va. So we can fix her up and get her back into service,protecting our great nation!!

  • randy

    By the way does anybody have pictures of the USS Newport News damage

  • CSW

    Headed to EB. My guess is 12-18 months in yards $65-$100 million in repairs. CO and COB relieved, maybe more to come after investigation is done. On her way back, can’t wait til they get home, been a long deployment…

  • Jim Neaves

    Why relieve the COB? You can bet there will be more. Has the Board of Inquiry convened? It will be “fun.” The surface vessel will also suffer.

    Are they on the surface?

  • Keeper

    My son is on the Hartford. Am I to understand that they are on thier way home?

  • PNSY’r

    YES, they are officially on their way to the east coast of the US.

  • Sonar guy

    Alright all, allot goes into sonar and TMA (target motion analysis) so taken the tight area of the SOH and the fact that the New Orleans was a brand new ship, operating in a loud and heavily travelled area of the world it is not hard to see how this could happen. Additionally given the stated geometry with the Hartford taking a beam strike it is easy to see the rate of closure was rather high. Lots of things to consider, additionally high tech is nothing when most zeros do not know how to work it, employ it or in some cases even how to turn it on! But you know what they are all over every procedure for that damn reactor. Kind of like being a master automotive mechanic with no drivers license!

  • Polaris

    EB must be working on a new sail right now. I’d bet they’re grateful for the work

  • Keeper

    CSW says CO and COB will probably be relieved. Would this be true even if they were off watch/off duty when incident occured? How about sonar Chief? If he was in the rack when incident occured, how is this likely to affect his career? If any or all of these men were asleep at time of incident, why/how could they be held responsible?

  • Simply photo gallery of USS Hartford arriving at Sub Base NL with shots of tower bracing for the trip.

  • emswife

    I know all work is being done at EB and they said that they won the bid..however final costs are not out there..and its still upp in thte air what is going to happen..One is EB cut of sail and patch hole where sail is and send back to base to sit at pier, two same situation but sit at EB and have them charge a butt load of money everyday that she is there.. or decom her and use her as a training vessel in SC at nuke school..

  • emswife

    COB adn CO were both guy got reduction in guy is no longer ss qualed and others just got slapped on the hand. which in my opponion isnt right. I mean there were alot of lives in there hands..annd if my hubby was augmitted he would have been there..I would really be pissed if he was there and this is all that happened..

  • emswife

    imo i believe she should be sent to SC for training with her record..I mean other things happend even after the collision..

  • Shipyard Electrical Gunky

    Re; Grayback…would you be referring to the Grayback SSG574 that we built at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo back in ’57? I got out of the Navy in ’57 and went to work at Mare Island in ’58 and had an occasion to board Grayback one time to retrieve some equipment. Also in ’58 I had the pleasure of watching the Halibut (SSN 587) slide down the ways and had the privilage of working her for many years afterward.

  • Armyfor the Navy

    Fix ‘er up Contract let. Genral Dynamics, Electric Boat Corp., Groton Conn is awarded a $65,200,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to do the repairs on the USS Hartford (SSN 768).

  • Submarine Nuke

    A periscope will run a cool million – I would guess there are 7 masts and antennas bent over.

    Not to mention the quality assurance to try to fix this disaster in the yard. And this wreck isn’t running home with no sail – that’s were lots of the nav gear is located.

    Too bad . . . I was on the San Juan – 751 boat and these are good boats.

    peaceout, Submariners

  • Submarine Nuke

    maybe this is a death boat like the augusta? hit every damn thing in the North Atlantic at one time or another – can anyone say Hostile Waters?

  • Submarine Nuke

    peace time tonnage?

    gotta paint this on the sail, after they get one!

  • Brian

    I know a lot of the details of the collision. Sonar Sup was in crews mess (dummy), the sub was in dip scope at 1 am (dunno why) esm was told to ignore high signal strength cuz they were just gettin off station and the TSO was not removed yet, the broadband operator was sending all sorts of junk to fire control, and they werent using nightowl. I also heard the open mic recording, and it sounded scarry. Really scarry. About 5 seconds before the collision you hear the PBB operator say “contact is breaking.” Im a sonar tech so I know that means the contact is close. This time it was a lil too colse.

  • Gene Murphy

    I remember when the George Washington (the 1st of 41) surfaced under a Japanese Maru & sank her it Thank the big guy for HY 80 & EB

  • YardBrid

    The USS San Francisco crash was way worst and we got it fixed than i know that we can fix this. (And I know that it was fixed I help fix it.)