SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Another submarine sighting

That distant texted pic is the only photo we have, but multiple readers report another submarine sighting off West Seattle earlier this afternoon. This time, the submarine was inbound, headed for Bremerton. One reader said, “Looks like a Los Angeles class, not the Ohio class that departed yesterday.”

25 Replies to "SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Another submarine sighting"

  • drM February 10, 2023 (5:09 pm)

    It was streaming ??steam?? behind it. Not sure what that was about.

    • Anonymous February 10, 2023 (9:19 pm)

      Ex submariner here, probably were running the diesel 

      • dRM February 13, 2023 (10:53 am)

        Thank you

        • Robbo February 13, 2023 (3:45 pm)

          Yep, that’s absolutely correct. That boat is running the emergency deisel.

    • Rhonda February 11, 2023 (3:15 am)

      Since nuclear submarines use steam for propulsion, they sometimes vent-off steam on the surface like an old steam locomotive.

      • David Shirlaw February 11, 2023 (12:40 pm)

        USS Key West joining recently arrived Chicago for scrapping

      • Steve (retired COB) February 11, 2023 (5:44 pm)

        Nope, sorry. That is a submarine running its emergency diesel engine. You’re seeing the diesel exhaust

      • Chelsea February 11, 2023 (6:56 pm)

        That’s not venting off steam… That exhaust from the diesel. The same thing that is happening in the other picture. Source: 14yrs active duty and another 5 at the shipyard.

        • Rhonda February 12, 2023 (2:27 am)

          The headline of the photo said: “USS New Hampshire (SSN-778) – Letting off Steam”

          • C February 12, 2023 (12:49 pm)

            That plume is diesel exhaust that has been sprayed with water to chill it off as it comes out. So technically what you are seeing is some steam and mostly exhaust. The steam that the reactor produces stays inside the system and never leaves.Source: Navy reactor operator veteran

      • Ken Williams February 12, 2023 (10:50 am)

        It’s amazing, what people will argue over.

      • Chris February 12, 2023 (11:54 pm)

        Thats not venting off steam, thats diesel exhaust from the emergency deisel running. 

      • Nnnnope February 16, 2023 (7:30 am)

        Hardly.  This just is diesel exhaust.  All nuclear submarines have a diesel for backup/transition power.

  • J February 10, 2023 (9:08 pm)

    I captured a few. 

  • J February 10, 2023 (9:09 pm)

    2nd one (I hope they attach right)

    • WSB February 10, 2023 (9:12 pm)

      Not showing. You’re welcome to email to and I can add to the story … or if they’re on your phone, text our hotline, 206-293-6302

      • J February 10, 2023 (9:44 pm)

        Sent! Thank you so much!

  • Jon Richardson February 12, 2023 (3:42 pm)

    If you’re ever curious what vessel it is. Go to That will track the vessel and likely tell you the name of the vessel as well.

    • WSB February 12, 2023 (3:47 pm)

      Not for submarines. Some Navy vessels but submarines don’t generally show with an identifier, if at all. For example, while the one two days ago showed as “SUBMARINE” on MT, the one yesterday did not show at all – just the surface vessels escorting it. – TR

  • saralee coleman February 12, 2023 (3:56 pm)

    Nuclear submarines, locked and loaded, are all around the waters of the Puget Sound. We are a high risk area with all our military bases 

  • Ella mill February 13, 2023 (4:33 am)

    Wow! What’s a sight. Who knew there was submarines in these waters. I certainly didn’t

  • Travis February 13, 2023 (8:08 am)

    Loose lips sink ships, friends. Why are you logging the comings and goings of our military vessels?

    • John February 13, 2023 (6:09 pm)

      Because the U.S. Navy official press release, published in our local Bremerton paper last week, announcing the arrival of a submarine scheduled for scrapping was somehow, in your mind, leaked classified information?

      Of course, this is a FREAKING PICTURE OF A SUB VISIBLE FROM SHORE in broad daylight by anyone who wants to see it.  Not exactly a top secret operation here.

  • Mark Dewees February 13, 2023 (2:01 pm)

    Why is this even a story? You have large Nuclear Sub Base and Shipyard in Kitsap and people are surprised when they see a Sub?

    • WSB February 13, 2023 (2:10 pm)

      Hi! I’ll take it you’re not a regular reader. We publish photos like these because for (almost exactly!) 15 years we have shown photos, usually taken by readers, of interesting vessels that pass our shores, military and civilian. Here’s the archive of hundreds of posts, reverse chronological order. Thanks for asking! – TR

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