On March 11, 2021, The Brazilian Navy’s newest submarine Riachuelo’s bow compartment was flooded with saltwater because of a valve problem while docked at Shipyard in Itaguaí. The reason is not apparent yet. Brazilian Navy only stated that the investigation is underway by technicians and submariners. The Navy Social Communication Center said: “the submarine crew promptly took action and reestablished the security condition and started cleaning the affected compartments”.
According to a Brazilian defense news portal Poder Naval, “The ‘Tonelero’ submarine sank in such an accident”.
“There was no personnel mistake.” stated another Brazilian news portal Defesa Aeréa & Naval.
Riachuelo has been undergoing sea trials since the last quarter of 2019.
Floods are hazardous for the submarines:
On December 26, 2000, the Brazilian submarine named Tonelero sank at her mooring in the Rio de Janeiro navy yards due to crew error. All nine crew members aboard escaped from the sub. It was quite a significant loss for the country.
In January 2018, it was reported that hatch on the rear side of the India’s nuclear submarine INS Arihant was left open by mistake while the submarine was at the harbor in 2017 lead to saltwater flooding the propulsion area while the submarine was docked, rendering it inoperative for ten months while pipes were replaced.
The S Riachuelo (S40) is a Brazilian Scorpène-class submarine built for the Brazilian Navy by DCNS in Cherbourg and ICN in Itaguaí, Brazil.
The Brazilian boats are larger in length, tonnage, and cargo capacity than the original French project. The Brazilian version is 75 m (246 ft) and 2,000 tons, compared to the original Scorpènes that are 61.7 m (202 ft) and 1,565 tons.
The initial Navy predictions for the delivery of Riachuelo were for 2015; however, after some postponements, the boat was launched in 2018 to start the platform acceptance testing phase, with two years in duration, plus six months of tests of the combat systems, with its incorporation to the operative sector foreseen for the middle of 2021.
Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of Riachuelo Class Submarines.