US destroyer collides with Japanese tug boat

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-19 14:44

TOKYO -- A US guided-missile destroyer collided with a Japanese commercial tug boat on Saturday, local media reported on Sunday.

The USS Benfold (DDG 65) was participating in a scheduled towing exercise in Sagami Bay, Kanagawa Prefecture, when the tug boat lost propulsion and "drifted into" the ship, according to a release by the US 7th Fleet.

The US destroyer sustained minimal damage, including scrapes on its side, and the Japanese boat was towed by another vessel to a port in Yokosuka.

No one was injured and the incident will be investigated, according to the release.

The incident occurred in the aftermath of two deadly collisions between merchant ships and US destroyers earlier this year that claimed a total of 17 lives.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off the east coast of Japan on June 17, killing seven sailors.

Just two months later, the USS John S McCain collided with a merchant vessel and claimed the lives of 10 sailors on Aug. 21 near Singapore.

The US Navy released a report earlier this month concluding that both of the fatal collisions were "avoidable."

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