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Submarine collides with tanker in Japan

Submarine collides with tanker in Japan

Tokyo: A Japanese military submarine collided with 4,160 gt combined chemical and oil tanker Spring Auster during exercises off southern Japan today, officials said. The Maritime Self-Defense Forces submarine brushed against the cargo ship as it surfaced about 30 miles off the southeastern coast of Miyazaki, on the southern island of Kyushu, a defense agency spokesman said. The civilian vessel was later identified as the 2004-built Spring Auster, en route to China, Coast Guard spokesman Takatoshi Nagasaki said. None of its crew of 16 Philippine nationals and a South Korean was hurt, but the extent of the damage was not immediately known, he said. No injuries were reported among the 75 crew on the submarine Asashio, but the vessel's top side had a dent, the defense spokesman said. The submarine apparently hit the ship's hull while surfacing, he said. Coast Guard officials made radio contact with the Spring Auster, whose crew reported feeling a small impact. They maintained course because no other vessel was in sight, Nagasaki said. The Spring Asuter is owned bu Daiichi Tanker Co.  [21/11/06]

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