U.S. warship, Japanese-owned tanker collide near Strait of Hormuz
Overall damage still being evaluated; collision not combat related, says U.S. Navy.
A U.S. warship and a large Japanese-owned merchant vessel collided early Sunday morning in the Persian Gulf, near the Strait of Hormuz. According to the U.S. Navy, which reported the collision, no personnel were injured and the incident is under investigation.
It was not reported at what distance from the Strait of Hormuz, the bottleneck through which oil is transported through the bay, the event took place.
The warship involved in the collision was the USS Porter, a U.S. Navy-guided missile destroyer, which is armed with the Aegis Combat System and the Standard anti-ballistic missile system.
Over the past few years, the USS Porter has participated in joint exercises with the Israel Defense Forces, dubbed Juniper Cobra, off the coast of Israel. During that time, it was based near Haifa and conducted simulations of intercepting missiles like those that would be fired by Iran toward Israel.
Sunday's incident took place at 1 A.M. local time. The Porter crashed into the Japanese-owned bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan, which flies the Panamanian flag.
The American navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, announced that the overall damage to the warship is still being evaluated, "but the ship is able to operate under its own power." According to the American navy, the collision was not combat-related.
The USS Porter, whose home base is on the east coast of the United States, has also been situated with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, where it was involved in IDF exercises, and with the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Persian Gulf. Its missions in the Persian Gulf are defined as "maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts."
For the American navy, mishaps like maritime collisions usually result in the vessel's commander being relieved "due to loss of confidence in his ability to command."