Carl Vinson Strike Group Cruiser Rammed by Boat
A South Korean fishing vessel collided with the missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain off the Korean Peninsula this week.
According to Navy Times, the incident happened during low visibility in the Sea of Japan.
USNI News reported that Lake Champlain was conducting its “routine operations” Tuesday before the collision occurred. The vessel has been on patrol off the Korean coast as part of the Carl Vinson carrier strike group, which has been dispatched to the area amid rising tensions with North Korea.
According to The San Diego Union Tribune, the 70-foot fishing boat hit Lake Champlain on its port side, despite urgent warnings from the U.S. vessel.
Right before the crash, Lake Champlain used a bridge-to-bridge radio in an effort to contact the South Korean boat. When the boat did not respond to that warning, the vessel then issued five short horn blasts, a standard international collision warning.
South Korean Navy arrived to assess the crash, the master of the fishing boat told officials that hand and his crew unable to hear any warnings because their radio and GPS were both broken.
U.S. Navy officials are now investigating the extent of the damages, if any. Thankfully, no one was injured in the collision, and both vessels were able to leave with full navigation power.
But it’s a lesson for the Navy vessel too. American sailors have died when apparently civilian vessels have been allowed to come too close, then turned out to be hostile.
They need to be careful out there.