On 25 October, 2003, the Hartford (SSN-768), a United States Navy nuclear powered Los Angeles-class submarine ran aground while performing routine maneuvers in the harbour of La Maddalena, Sardinia. Approximately $9 million worth of repairs were done to the submarine, which was reportedly
out of service for the next seven months.
Contrary to assertions by the Regional Directorate of Maritime Affairs of Corsica, the submarine could not be repaired on site and required emergency time in shipyards in Norfolk, Virginia.
Navy divers from the USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) inspected Hartford the next day and found large areas of the hull scraped down to bare metal. Sound damping anechoic tiles had been ripped away, metal grates over the ballast tanks had been badly distorted and the passive sonar hydrophone system damaged in three separate locations. The worst damage was at the aft end of the boat, where the rocks had torn off the bottom part of the rudder.
After the accident the captain of Hartford and commodore of Submarine Squadron 22, were relieved of command. Six other crewmen were also charged with dereliction of duty
There was concern in the Italian press that an accident involving a nuclear sub had not reported publicly until 12 November, three weeks after the incident. Subsequent investigations have shown that there had been no radiation leaks from the submarine.
Now, Santo Stefano, Italy - The American Stars and Stripes flag was lowered Friday at a ceremony marking the closure of the US Navy's nuclear submarine support base on the island of Santo Stefano, north of Sardinia, news reports said.
One pesky thing remains
. The true source of contamination. If we do not hear about Italian arrests for environmental pollution within 60 days, we may never hear about them, because submarines are always silent and strange.
Labels: USS Hartford La Maddelena environment thoriated welding