Fishermen Spot Chinese Submarine in Taiwan Strait

The Taiwanese Minister of National Defense, Wellington Koo, confirmed the sighting of a Chinese submarine off the coast of the Penghu Islands in the Taiwan Strait on June 18, 2024.

Analysis of the photos suggests the submarine is likely a Type 094 nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).

Fishermen hunting for squid around 5 a.m. local time first noticed the submarine as it surfaced near the median line. An unknown warship, likely a Type 054A frigate or a Type 052D destroyer, appeared soon after and escorted the submarine out of the strait.

It’s likely the submarine experienced some form of malfunction, causing the vessel to surface and therefore exposing it to easier detection—hence the warship escort.

Photo of the submarine captured by local squid fishermen. (Photo – via CNA)

When asked about the incident, Minister Koo stated, “We have the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance means, but I don’t think it is appropriate to disclose the detailed investigation methods here.”

Taiwan is offering up to NT$30,000 (US$926) for photos and information on the submarine.