The Financial Express

US destroyer collides with tugboat in Japan

| Updated: November 20, 2017 11:29:33

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USS Benfold (DDG 65) file photo. (US Navy/MC3 Nathan Burke) USS Benfold (DDG 65) file photo. (US Navy/MC3 Nathan Burke)

In the latest of a string of marine mishaps, a US warship collided with a Japanese tugboat in Japan’s Sagami Bay on Saturday.

The Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold during a towing exercise, the Navy said.

The US Navy guided-missile destroyer, Benfold sustained minimal damage Saturday, including scrapes on its side, the Navy said in a statement. But no casualties were reported. The commercial tug boat was towed to a port in Yokosuka, the home of the Navy's Japan-based 7th Fleet.

The Navy said the Benfold remained at sea under its own power, and that the incident would be investigated.

The 7th Fleet has had two fatal accidents in Asian waters this year, leaving 17 sailors dead and prompting the removal of eight top Navy officers from their posts, including the 7th Fleet commander, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided near Singapore in August, leaving 10 US sailors dead. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided off Japan.

The Navy has concluded that the collisions were avoidable and resulted from widespread failures by the crews and commanders, who didn't quickly recognize and respond to unfolding emergencies.

A Navy report recommended numerous changes to address the problems, ranging from improved training to increasing sleep and stress management for sailors.

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