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Historic WWII-Era Submarine Strikes U.S. Coast Guard Cutter

USS Cod
USS Cod under tow, June 13 (Courtesy USS Cod Memorial Museum)

Published Jun 14, 2021 1:20 AM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday morning, during a towing evolution, the decommissioned U.S. Navy submarine USS Cod allided with a moored Coast Guard cutter.

The Cod is a museum ship, and she was scheduled to transit from her current homeport on Cleveland's waterfront to Donjon Shipbuilding in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she will undergo maintenance. 

The tug Manitou took the submarine in tow Sunday morning and got under way; however, at about 1130 hours, the sub allided with the moored Coast Guard tug USCGC Morro Bay. 

At the time of the casualty, AIS tracking shows that Morro Bay was moored about 300 feet away from USS Cod's permanent berth, located within a narrow basin on Cleveland's waterfront.

Morro Bay is a Bay-class icebreaker, built for clearing Great Lakes waterways in winter, and she sustained only superficial damage from the contact.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, but the Coast Guard admonished all vessel operators to "not only be aware of the increased traffic on the water, but also of shoreline, breakwalls, and moored vessels."

The Cod's voyage was only minimally disrupted, and she was quickly under way again, bound for Erie.

USS Cod is a Gato-class attack sub commissioned in 1943. She made seven successful patrols in the Pacific Theater, with many sinkings to her credit, including the Japanese destroyer  Karukaya. After the war, Cod served as a platform for trainings and exercises until her final decommissioning in 1971.