Friday, September 14, 2007

Submarine disrupts the Vuelta España a Vela

It's not a joke. It took place on Friday afternoon, during the 4th leg of the Vuelta España a Vela (Spain Sailing Tour), from Cartagena to Alicante. While the fleet was approaching Alicante, a submarine suddenly surfaced in front of Endesa-Ceuta. The yacht managed to avoid a head on collision but the extent of damages suffered is not clear. Unfortunately, the photo is fuzzy but the photographer, like the rest of the participants, was caught by surprise. Obviously, nobody was expecting to see a submarine surface in front of them.

The Vuelta de España a Vela (Spain Sailing Tour) is the annual regatta co-organized by RFEV, Vuelta España a Vela SL, Deporevents and CNEV in order for the latter to fulfill its obligations under the Deed of Gift.

A submarine of the Spanish navy suddenly surfaces and collides with Endesa Ceuta, taking part in the Vuelta España a Vela. Alicante, 14 September 2007. Photo copyright Pedro Martinez Vuelta España a Vela/

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8 Comments:

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look carefully, you see the Spanish flag on the sub and 2 men on the bridge...the top of the submarines sail (conning tower). Their are aslo various items rigged on the bridge. When a sub surfaces all of this stuff has to be brought up from inside. It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to accomplish this task.
Suffice to say, this sub did NOT "suddenly surface" in the middle of the regatta. It has been surfaced and navigating on the surface for at least 30 minutes.
What probably happened was the sailboat saw the sub, but since the hull is so low you usually only can make out the sail...which makes the sub look deceptively small. The sailboat continued on course intending to pass astern of the strange square object. At the last second the sailboat suddenly realized what they were heading into and tryed to turn away..too late. A sub on the surface is not very manueverable and is probably in a transit lane so they tend not to make radical course changes unless they absolutely have to.

 
At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

riiiiiight......

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous subcorpus said...

never saw anything like this before ...
hehe ...

 
At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the comment above, the photo could have been taken 30mns after the incident... mystery solved.

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. I served on subs in the US Navy for several years. That sub had definitely been surfaced for some time, and a sub, especially a small one (such as a attack sub, as opposed to a missile sub) can be all but impossible to see on the surface. You still have to wonder what it was doing in the middle of the regatta course. I would think if they knew about the regatta they would make appropriate arrangements to stay out of the way.

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger Oliver said...

Agreed - and I'll add that if you look at the conning tower, you can see that it's dry. There's no water dripping out of the various outlets and ports, which is what you'd be seeing if it had surfaced in the last minute or two.

So, I guess the question's not whether it appeared quickly or not... rather the question is whether anything (submarine, fishing boat, ferry) should have been sailing through an area where there was a regatta on. Don't know. Anyone?

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pictures taken from highly oblique angles tend to dramatically interfere with the ability to determine distance in the horizontal. The sail boat and the surfaced sub could be hundreds and hundreds of feet apart. Nobody on the sailboat seems to be very concerned about the sub in any case.

 
At 4:50 AM, Blogger Philip said...

This appears to be the Agosta type submarine. The listed length for that type is 67 meters. The Sailboat looks to be as long as half the submarine. Does anyone think that is a 30 meter sailboat? I'd say the sailboat is several hundred feet away from the the sub and tacking to clear it astern. As for where the sub sailing through a regatta area, regattas typically occupy several a hundred square miles when going on.

 

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