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Published: Sunday, 8/12/2012

Navy ship collides with oil tanker in Persian Gulf

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MANAMA, Bahrain — One of the U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyers suffered minor damage when it collided with an oil tanker early Sunday just outside the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The collision left a gaping hole in the starboard side of USS Porter, but no one was injured on either vessel, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. The collision with the Panamanian-flagged bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan occurred at approximately 1 a.m. local time.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Navy said, adding that there were no reports of spills or leakages from either the USS Porter or the Otowasan.

The USS Porter is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain.

The Strait of Hormuz, located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, is where one-fifth of the world’s oil is routed. Tensions have risen there over Iran’s threats to block tanker traffic in retaliation for tighter sanctions by the West.

Three years ago, The USS Hartford, a nuclear-powered submarine based in Groton, Conn., collided in the strait with the USS New Orleans, a San Diego-based amphibious ship.

The New Orleans’ fuel tank was ruptured, and 15 sailors on the Hartford sustained minor injuries. The collision caused $2.3 million in damage to the New Orleans, and the cost so far of repairs to the Hartford is $102.6 million.

The submarine’s commanding officer was relieved of his duties, and the sub’s chief of the boat, an adviser to the commanding officer, was reassigned. Several crew members were punished.



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