This was the U.S. Navy’s second collision with a civilian vessel in the Gulf in 14 months.
The USS Philadelphia and its 125-person crew was traveling on the surface of the Gulf when it hit the Turkish-flagged M/V Yaso Aysen at around 2 a.m. local time, said a statement from the 5th Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain. The collision happened about 40 kilometres northeast of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, said Breslau to AP.
The Philadelphia was conducting surface operations on its way to Bahrain for a scheduled port visit, the Navy said, according to the agency. Afterward, the submarine continued to Bahrain where inspectors will check it for damage.
The submarine’s nuclear-powered propulsion plant was not damaged in the crash, the Navy said. Breslau said the Turkish ship, a bulk carrier, suffered minor damage to its hull just above the water line, according to AP. The ship weighed anchor at the site of the crash and a US Coast Guard vessel was sent to offer help, Breslau said. An initial inspection found the cargo vessel to be seaworthy.
The cause of the collision was under investigation, Breslau told AP.