From what I have heard and the photos damage, they did not run aground... The damage does not show typical grounding damage..... They hit something very large by the looks of it, and they were moving at a good clip too....
I'm not certain just how fast those LA's normally cruise while submerged, but you've gotta figure: an object doing, let's say, 20kts (faster?) hits the sea mount. It's like ramming a brick wall, with your car!
As far as I'm concerned, the fact that they made it back in such good shape is a testament to the good design of the boat and the professionalism of her crew.
I totally agree NS. To have made it back with that kind of damage was good work! I see what you are saying about the collision now. WIth the size of that sub, that's alot of mass moving along to come to a full stop so quickly.
Speaking of submarines, NS; Have you ever read the book "Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage"? It is quiet an interesting book.