Friday, August 03, 2007

Three Men Detained After Being Pulled From Submersible In East River

Authorities are questioning three men after pulling them from a submersible vessel in the East River in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to reports from ABC affiliate WABC.

The men were captured near the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in downtown Brooklyn, near the massive cruise ship the Queen Mary 2, just after 11 a.m.

The intent of the three men being held by police remains unclear, but the initial indication is that it did not appear to be terror-related. They have not been identified by police and no charges have been filed.

The orblike vessel, with a circular hatch on the top for entering and exiting, remains moored in the East River in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. It was equipped with oxygen tanks, WABC reported.
This is certainly suspicious as one doesn't see a submersible entering New York harbor every day, let alone one that was discovered near the Queen Mary 2 in Brooklyn's Red Hook.

I'd suggest this is a developing story. One has to wonder what kind of story the three men are telling authorities at this point, even as the authorities are saying that it didn't appear terror related. Perhaps on a cursory examination there was no sign of explosives, but a submersible in the busy New York harbor could cause damage to ships passing over it, including death or injury to the three occupants.

The captain of the vessel was issued a violation by the Coast Guard for operating within a security zone and operating an unsafe vessel.

All in all, this is quite curious.

When in doubt, go to the submariners to get their take. Bubbleheads is left scratching his head over this one. On the one hand, it has the makings of an almost dry run, but on the other - what the heck were they thinking? What were they thinking pervades Rotini's sub BBS. The tricky currents in NY harbor are dangerous enough for surface craft - recall the crash of the Staten Island Ferry a few years back - let alone a submarine of the kind discovered today.

Via Ace, Purple Avenger notes this would appear to be a Flickr stream of images about the submersible.

Gothamist was on to this a guy few years back as well.

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