Navy publishes first photos of damaged sub

Commander reassigned pending investigation of crash

From Barbara Starr         (click here to see the photos)
Thursday, January 27, 2005 Posted: 7:01 PM EST (0001 GMT)

The submarine's front end was severely damaged when the submarine struck an undersea mountain 350 miles south of Guam on January 8.

Machinist Mate 2nd Class Joseph Allen Ashley, 24, of Akron, Ohio, died of injuries suffered in the accident, which occurred when the submarine was en route to Brisbane, Australia.

A Navy official said the submarine went into dry dock on January 26.

Divers cut off the sonar dome from the front end beforehand because it was "hanging," the official said, but otherwise the damage visible on the submarine occurred in the accident.

The pictures show extensive damage to the outer hull of the vessel, whose front end was virtually destroyed.

The inner hull was not penetrated.

The pictures also show a blue tarp covering classified equipment at the sub's front end.

The Navy official said it now appears the undersea mountain was not on the navigation charts the crew was using.

The incident remains under investigation, and the commander has been reassigned pending the outcome of that inquiry.

The Associated Press reported last week that Cmdr. Kevin Mooney was reassigned to a unit in Guam pending the completion of the investigation, citing a statement from the U.S. 7th Fleet.

The USS San Francisco carried a crew of 137, 60 of whom were injured in the accident.


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