USS Benfold collides with Japanese tugboat during towing exercise; no injuries reported
November 18, 2017
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – No injuries were reported after a U.S. warship collided with a Japanese commercial tugboat Saturday in Japan’s Sagami Bay.
The accident occurred after the Japanese vessel lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold during a towing exercise, a Navy statement said. The guided-missile destroyer suffered minimal damage and is awaiting a full assessment.
The Benfold was operating under its own power, while the Japanese vessel was being towed to a port in Yokosuka, the statement said.
The Navy said the incident will be investigated.
The Benfold was conducting the routine training as part of a seamanship certification, said 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Clay Doss.
The collision is the latest in a slew of accidents involving U.S. warships in the Pacific this year.
In January, the USS Antietam ran aground and spilled roughly 1,100 gallons of hydraulic fluid into Tokyo Bay; in June, a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a merchant ship killed seven sailors; and in August, a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker killed 10 sailors.
The USS Benfold is homeported at Yokosuka, home to the Navy’s 7th Fleet.