South African submarine takes a nosedive

The Chief of the South African Navy, Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu, must provide a full briefing on the accident at sea involving the SAS Queen Modjaji.

Last week the SAS Queen Modjaji, one of three submarines operated by the South African Navy (SAN), reportedly “nosedived” into the seabed while conducting a training exercise between Port Elizabeth and Durban.

The SAS Queen Modjaji was reportedly damaged as a result of the accident. A “serious dent”, in the bow section of the boat, is now reportedly being repaired in the Simon’s Town Naval Dockyard.

A board of inquiry has reportedly been convened to look into the accident involving the SAS Queen Modjaji.

Once the board of inquiry has completed its work, a full briefing on the accident must be provided to the Joint Standing Committee on Defence at Parliament.

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“We have to be absolutely sure that systems are put in place to prevent a similar accident happening again. There can be absolutely no compromise when it comes to submarine safety” said David Maynier, the DA Shadow Minister of Defence.

This means that all three submarines, meant to police the oceans off the South African coast, are presently undergoing repairs and maintenance.

The SAS Manthatisi, the first of the country’s submarines acquired in the multibillion-rand arms deal, has been in the dry dock since 2007 after a series of mishaps, including crashing into a quay and damaging her steering mechanism.

Then a power cable was incorrectly plugged into her shore power-supply system, causing damage. The vessel’s propulsion batteries, which cost R35-million, are being replaced according to Times Live.