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from This is London


Polar bear attacks sub

[May 29 , 2003]

By George Gordon, Daily Mail

Polar Bear Attacks SubTo a peckish polar bear padding along in search of a meal, it looked like lunch was about to be served from the chill cabinet.

There, suddenly emerging out of the icecap, was what you might call the world's biggest submarine sandwich.

Wasting no time, the furry giant - standing some 71/2ft tall on its hind legs - clamped its paws around the tempting shape and sank its teeth into it.

Unfortunately for the bear, this was no super-sized snack, but a real submarine - and the bit that it was biting was the hardened steel rudder. So as it chomped away, its only reward was a sore jaw. The rudder belonged to the USS Connecticut, one of the world's most powerful submarines, which had broken through the ice in Prudhoe Bay, off north Alaska, during an American naval exercise.

The first parts of the 1.2billion nuclear-powered attack vessel to surface were the rudder, at the back, and the sail - the raised forward section containing the conning tower. When the periscope went up, its inbuilt camera captured the remarkable images of the bear making a meal of the vessel.

Eventually, the animal abandoned its metallic munching and padded off across the ice ridges in search of a tastier snack of seal.

The navy later reported that damage to the 353ft-long Connecticut - which has a crew of more than 120 and is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles and torpedos - was minimal.

2003 Associated New Media

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