US warship collides with Japanese tug boat
A U.S. warship sustained minor damage Saturday when it collided with a Japanese tug boat, the Navy’s 7th Fleet announced.
NBC News reports that the tugboat lost propulsion control and drifted into the Navy destroyer, causing a minor collision. No injuries were reported on either vessel.
The USS Benfold was conducting a scheduled exercise in Japan’s Sagami Bay at the time of the collision.
The guided-missile destroyer, which remains at sea, will undergo a damage assessment and an investigation into the crash, according to ABC News.
Saturday’s crash comes after two separate incidents earlier this year involving Navy ship collisions resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors. The Navy determined that the collisions were caused by “multiple failures” on the part of officers and sailors onboard.
“The crew was unprepared for the situation in which they found themselves through a lack of preparation, ineffective command and control, and deficiencies in training and preparations for navigation,” according to the report detailing the USS John S. McCain’s Aug. 21 collision, which killed 10 sailors.
Lawmakers in Washington have reacted to the incidents by calling for more resources for the Navy.
“Simply put, we need to acknowledge that the Navy has a supply-and-demand problem. We are asking too few ships to do too many things for American security, and that needs to be rectified,” Senate seapower subcommittee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said last month.
“As the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions have demonstrated, the short-term costs of ‘doing more with less’ are unacceptable.”
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