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iPod implicated in US attack sub prang

Navigator in expensive musical encounter with transport dock

The navigator of a US Navy fast attack submarine, who was listening to his iPod when he really should have been keeping an eye out for amphibious transport docks, helped land his employers with a hefty $86.9m repair bill.

According to the Navy Times, the Los Angeles-class sub Hartford collided with with the New Orleans in the Strait of Hormuz on 20 March 2009. The Hartford's commander, Ryan Brookhart, was swiftly relieved of his command, and an official report has now condemned the vessel's "informal atmosphere, crew complacency, a 'weak' command and inferior submariner skills", all of which led to the “avoidable” accident.

The Navy Times elaborates: "Specifically, the navigator was listening to his iPod during a critical evolution, watchstanders were known to sleep on the job, and stereo speakers were rigged for music in the radio room."

Fifteen Hartford crewmen were injured in the incident. The New Orleans suffered "a 16-by-18-foot gash in its hull that ripped open a fuel tank and two ballast tanks and required $2.3m in repairs". You too can assess the damage to the Hartford here. ®

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