A strategic nuclear submarine of the Russian Pacific Fleet was struck earlier today and slightly damaged by a fishing ship that was manned, said naval Russian sources, by a drunken crew, Russia media reported Thursday afternoon.
The fishing boat struck the Svyatoy Grigori Pobedonosets (Saint Grigori the Conqueror) nuclear submarine along the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka fishing route off the country’s Pacific coast and slightly damaged its outer hull, the RIA Novosti newswire reported.
The Seiner Donets was maneuvering past a small trawler, the Kormchii, steering on an opposite course, and did not notice the submarine Svyatoi Georgy Pobedonosets, which was anchored in the Avacha Bay. The submarine sustained minor damage of the outer hull as a result,” a source told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti
The nuclear submarine was back in port for repairs, RIA Novosti reported. Interfax reported that there was no radiation leakage as a result of the accident.
The watch crew of the submarine fired a flare to alert the fishing vessel of their position, but the vessel failed to change course, Roman Maratov, a press spokesman for the Russian navy told Gazeta.ru.
Maratov said the submarine has sustained no appreciable damage.
Maratov said the incident was under investigation and that charges may be brought.
The source said that the blame for the accident lies entirely with the captain of the fishing vessel and told RIA Novosit that a military group was dispatched to the fishing trawler and discovered that “all of them were drunk,” adding that the crew of the trawler “probably didn’t even see [the submarine.”
The Russian Defense Ministry had no immediate comment.
RIA Novisti’s source said that the submarine is now docked in the far eastern port town of Vilyuchinsk where its outer hull is undergoing repairs.
The 166-meter (544 feet) Svyatoi Georgi Pobedonosets is a nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying 16 ballistic missiles and a crew of up 130