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This Is What Happened When A US Navy Submarine Collided With A Whale

Here’s a question that you don’t hear very often; if a submarine and a whale collided, who would emerge victoriously? The answer to that is not definite because such an incident has not occurred so far. However, back in 2005, the USS San Francisco did collide with a seamount at full speed. You can see the damage the collision caused in the picture below.

The USS San Francisco had a total of 137 men aboard out of which 98 were injured, and one died. The USS San Francisco lost her forward ballast tanks but was still able to surface and then travel for 360 nautical miles using her own power. The bow of the USS San Francisco was replaced using the bow of the recently decommissioned USS Honolulu and remained in active service up until 2016 when she underwent conversion to a training ship.

A whale would not have survived such a collision since it would have been enough to inflict injuries that would prove fatal. On the other hand, if such a collision would cause fatalities on the submarine; let’s hope we never have to find out. Rest assured, the whales are good at getting out of the way of submarines, and that is why no such collision has taken place until now.