Paul Pudwell has seen many a submarine in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but the owner of Sooke Coastal Explorations still didn’t pass up the opportunity to film one of the vessels Tuesday.
“With [Washington’s] Elwah River Valley in the background and the ability to see one up close like that, it was definitely unique,” he said.
Pudwell said he sees submarines roughly 20 times a year. He wanted to share the experience.
“We’re out there 200-250 days a year, so it’s not uncommon to us, but land-lovers, they don’t get to see that very often.”
Neither the Canadian or U.S. navies confirmed the submarine to be their own, but Lt. Anthony Wright, with the Canadian Navy, said the naval force was not concerned. The vessel is not Canadian, but the force knows to which country the submarine belongs.
“It’s normal for traffic in the straits — following the vessel traffic management system — to transit in those waters. We, the Canadian Navy, know who the sub is, so we don’t have a concern with it, but it’s not for us to speak about the movement of foreign submarines,” Wright said.
A U.S. Navy public affairs officer, citing protocol, was unwilling to confirm whether or not the submarine was American, but said the U.S. Navy uses the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Pudwell was on the Canadian side of the waters when he filmed the video. The surfaced submarine was circling the area for a few hours, he said.
His video had garnered more than 6,000 views within less than 24 hours.