US Navy Ship Scraped in Collision with Japanese Tug

US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold suffered minimal damage after it collided with a tugboat off the coast of Japan, on November 18.

The incident occurred while the vessel was taking part in a scheduled towing exercise in Sagami Bay. The tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the ship.

“No one was injured on either vessel and Benfold sustained minimal damage, including scrapes on its side, pending a full damage assessment,” US Navy said in a statement.

Relevant authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.

Although the incident is minor, it comes on the back of two separate fatal collisions which the US Navy witnessed in June and August 2017, between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and Philippine-flagged containership ACX Crystal, and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and Liberian-flagged tanker Alnic MC.

The navy released a report on November 1 detailing the events and actions that led to the collision, stating that both accidents were preventable and the investigations found “multiple failures by watch standers that contributed to the incidents.”

The report showed that the collision between Fitzgerald and Crystal was avoidable and resulted from an accumulation of smaller errors over time, “ultimately resulting in a lack of adherence to sound navigational practices.”

The second collision, between John S. McCain and Alnic MC, was also avoidable and resulted primarily from complacency, over-confidence and lack of procedural compliance, the US Navy earlier said.