Polar Bear Attacks Submrine During the ICEX 2003 naval exercises near the North Pole
The submarine surfaced in an area of polar ice between Alaska and the North Pole. Arctic submariners learned to look out for polar bears long ago – especially before disembarking onto the ice.
In 2003 a large (700-800lb) polar bear was seen approaching the USS Connecticut (SSN-22). The bear loitered around the submarine’s rear rudder for approximately 40 minutes.
The bear tried to take a bite out of the rudder but of course found it inedible! The bear stayed in the area of the broken ice around the rudder for a while, presumably thinking a seal might use it as an air hole.
The bear finally left when he heard the noise of an approaching helicopter.
When an officer on board the submarine first looked around outside via the periscope he noted that the submarine was being stalked by a hostile polar bear. The periscope camera was turned on resulting in these photos of a polar bear chewing on the subs rear rudder.
The damage was said to be minor!