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Interesting question. Any submariners around who can fill us in?

But I'd guess the Collision Rules don't apply when a sub is submerged. Rule 1 says the rules apply to "all vessels upon the high seas",

and Rule 3 describes "vessels" as those craft "capable of being used as a means of transportation on water"..

so I'd think "upon" and "on water", mean on the surface of the water, not under it.

Leaving me to wonder what does apply, except maybe the sentiment expressed in Rule 19, since they're not "in sight" of each other when underwater.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Lets see what Chuckles has to say about this. He is probably asleep or rum in hand after a hard day. He is on of the few who spent some time under the water in one.
Can you say 'oops'?
This kind of thing seems to happen on a daily basis 'upon' or 'on' the waters surface: The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel
It sounds like the sailors of both subs were limping back to port apparently unharmed.
 

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well i was on subs, and i would put money on it they where playing games. subs can hear for miles, they did hear each other but one if not both where playing, passing in the night war games are normal, we hear you, you hear use lets play tag, for an hour then go our own ways. my boat tracked another sub we just happen to find running on the surface, for about an hour then made them soil their pants... water slug tube one.

other wise under water there is no real rules

i was in when one of ours hit a russian boat, i had friends on board. publicly at the time the russians said they had no subs at sea, the US said it was an oops, my friends said we where inside what russia said was theirs, internationally was nobodies. the russians where playing trying to drive our boat out.

here is a link for the one when i was in, but it did have injuries and damage. it ripped open one of the forward ballast tanks.
TWO SUBS COLLIDE OFF RUSSIAN PORT - New York Times
 

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Then there is Rule 5: You must maintain a competent lookout at all times.
I would say that both subs were operating in the blind and thus violating rule 5.
But then again with friendly nations you would think, have an agreement on where the playgrounds should be for each other's Navy. And not have these kinds of accidents.
But then again Enland & France have a history of a couple of centuries of war against each other.
 

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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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Then there is Rule 5: You must maintain a competent lookout at all times.
I would say that both subs were operating in the blind and thus violating rule 5.
But then again with friendly nations you would think, have an agreement on where the playgrounds should be for each other's Navy. And not have these kinds of accidents.
I've never been on a sub, but I would think that life could get a little dull at times. Any chance to play hide and seek with another sub, friendly or not, would be a perfect chance to use the skills you've trained for and break up the monotony.
 

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Hehe, they are on the same team so it makes the papers.

When I was on subs (83-87) if one of us hit something (or got hit) it didn't get much press because usually one (or both) of those involved was someplace that they'd rather not confirm.

It is possible that they didn't hear each other, but it is far more likely that at least one of them knew that the other was there. Considering that the Brit boat is a boomer and the Frogs got a damaged sonar dome I'd say the French boat was trailing the Brit and he cleared baffles and/or turned and they didn't pic up on it.

These boats are over 300 ft long and displace close to 13,000T (give or take a bit on both numbers). Running quiet they are making turns for 3 to 4 kts, just enough to maintain steerage. They were obviously operating at the same depth (something you really try not to do when trailing, for obvious reasons). If the Brits started a slow course change and the French didn't hear it or notice it would be very easy to run up on the lead boat if you were close up in their baffles, and that doesn't even address the chance that the Brit captain decided to do a Crazy Ivan to clear his baffles. If he did then he got exactly the result that the Soviets used to try for.

Now if you say, catch a Soviet boat at PD and are trying to underhull him when he dives, well, that's a whole 'nother story (and like a manatee you get prop scars in your forward ballast tanks)
 

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How do you keep a watch for navigation lights, if you can't see out the boat???
 

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Does a sub even have nav lights for when it's running on the surface? Until nukes, most diesel-electrics would run on the surface for charging and speed surfaces, according to a book I read on the history of submarining. The snorkel was a later innovation.

I don't know what today's diesel-electrics (still the majority of military subs, I believe) do to get around this.
 

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yes subs have running lights, they are mounted on the rudder and the "sail". they also have one light that is unique to subs, an orange light that they raise up. it flashes orange 3 times then repeats, it morse code for "S", it is the international sign for a sub on the surface.
 

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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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Does a sub even have nav lights for when it's running on the surface? Until nukes, most diesel-electrics would run on the surface for charging and speed surfaces, according to a book I read on the history of submarining. The snorkel was a later innovation.

I don't know what today's diesel-electrics (still the majority of military subs, I believe) do to get around this.
I'm sure they do. When on the surface they need to follow the same rules as everyone else. They probably test them before leaving dry dock, and test them again next time they're in dry dock.
 

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They probably test them before leaving dry dock, and test them again next time they're in dry dock.
Naa, we used them on the maneuvering watch coming in and out of port from the dive point. At Pearl Harbor that's about an hour, in Hong Kong it is closer to 12.

Generally didn't dive till we hit the 100 fathoms line under "normal" circumstances.
 

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I will say that big subs running fast on the surface will leave BIG wakes, think North Shore Pipeline surfing waves.

Many years ago we were sailing up the bay when we saw what looked to be a tsunami off our stern. Took a minute or so to see the ship, and figured we gonna get swamped. Fortunately they slowed down long enough to leave us a very nice hole in their wake.
 
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