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A U.S. Warship Just Collided With a Tugboat in Japanese Waters

Jamie Ducharme

In the latest of a string of marine mishaps, a U.S. warship crashed into a Japanese tugboat in Japan’s Sagami Bay on Saturday.

The tugboat lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold during a routine towing exercise, according to a press release from the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. No injuries or fatalities resulted from the incident, and damage to the Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer ship, was minimal, according to the release.

While the crash was relatively harmless, it adds to a troubling trend for the 7th Fleet: Saturday’s collision in the Pacific was the fleet’s fifth this year. Most recently, in August, the USS John S. McCain collided with a commercial boat off the coast of Singapore, killing 10 U.S. sailors, taking the warship out of commission and prompting a fleet-wide operational pause.

The Benfold, on the other hand, sustained only minor scrapes on its sides. It remains on the water and autonomously powered, though the Navy news release says the incident will be fully investigated.