US Navy destroyer involved in collision with Japanese tug boat, sustains minor damage

A U.S. destroyer sustained minor damage after a collision with a tug boat near Japan, according to the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet.

The USS Benfold, which is a guided-missile destroyer, had been participating in a scheduled towing exercise in Sagami Wan, a bay south of Tokyo, on Saturday when a Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the U.S. ship, the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement.

No injuries were reported and minor damage was done to the Benfold, including scrapes on its side. While the tug boat is being towed to a port in Yokosuka, the Benfold remains at sea on its own power.

The incident is being investigated, the 7th Fleet said.

The Navy’s 7th Fleet has been involved in a number of similar incidents at sea this year; Saturday’s collision appears to be the fifth since January.

In January the cruiser USS Antietam ran aground off the coast of Japan, and in May the cruiser USS Lake Champlain was hit by a South Korean fishing boat.

Another collision, between the USS Fitzgerald and a container vessel, happened off the coast of Japan in June, killing seven of the Fitzgerald’s sailors. There was also a collision of USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore on Aug. 21, killing 10 U.S. sailors.

Earlier this month, a pair of Navy investigations concluded that “multiple failures” contributed to the Fitzgerald and McCain accidents, via sub-standard performance by both crews and commanders in the accidents this summer.

This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner


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