Assigning the blame for the collision is becoming an interesting exercise in how bureaucracies operate. Apparently a satellite ocean mapping project had spotted the sea mount, which the San Francisco hit, several years ago. But the navy never updated its charts. Whoever failed to get the charts updated would appear to be at fault. It’s long been known that nuclear subs, operating at their normal depths, were in danger because so much of the open oceans had not been properly mapped. This was an accepted risk. But it appears the navy may hang the blame on the San Francisco’s officers. They would be blamed for not taking more frequent depth soundings, and not proceeding more slowly, in an area that had not been definitively mapped. It’s easier to pin it on the ships officers, as they are of much lower rank than the navy official with responsibility to get the maps updated.
Check out these amazing pics of the damage to the sub. I'm surprised that only one sailor was killed in the collision. We make stuff that lasts.