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Chinese bulk carrier collided with a Japanese submarine.

Image Credit: Kyodo

On Monday at around 10.58am Tokyo time, a capesize bulk carrier, Ocean Artemis, a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier, collided with a Japanese Soryu-class submarine south of Kochi Prefecture coast, Shikoku Island.

The Chinese bulk carrier was heading to Mizushima Japan from Qingdao China, when it collided with the Japanese submarine which was headed to drills off the coast of Cape Ashizuri in Kochi Prefecture. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said that the submarine collided with the vessel while it was surfacing. The crewmen saw the bulk carrier through their periscope, but were unable to avoid it in time.

The bulk carrier received minor damages, mostly scratches, whilst the submarine suffered damaged bridge antennas and diving planes. Reporting of the accident was delayed due to damage to the submarine’s communications equipment, but than the crew informed notified the Japanese authorities of the incident by mobile phone at around 2.20pm Tokyo time.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga instructed Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to confirm the safety of the crew in the Chinese bulk carrier, and provide rescue assistance if needed, but the Chinese bulk carrier left the scene soon after the collision.

Three crewmen in the submarine were slightly injured in the accident. The submarine was armed with torpedoes, and the bulk carrier stopped briefly after the collision, but continued its voyage soon afterwards with a reduced speed to 4 knots.

The submarine eventually arrived in Kochi port late Monday. An investigation gas been launched by the Japan Coast Guard to determine if the incident was a case of endangering traffic due to negligence. Japan Transport Safety Board also decided to launch its own investigation.

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