US Navy ship collides with oil tanker in Persian Gulf

Houston Chronicle  DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer was left with a gaping hole on one side after it collided with an oil tanker early Sunday just outside the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The collision left a breach about 10 feet by 10 feet (three by three meters) in the starboard side of USS Porter. No one was injured on either vessel, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

The collision with the Panamanian-flagged and Japanese-owned bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan happened about 1 a.m. local time. Photos released by the Navy showed workers standing amid twisted metal and other debris hanging down from the hole.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Navy said, though the collision was not “combat related.” There were no reports of spills or leakages from either the USS Porter or the Otowasan, the Navy said.

Navy spokesman Greg Raelson said the destroyer now is in port in Jebel Ali, Dubai. “We’re just happy there were no injuries,” he said. “An investigation is under way.”

The USS Porter is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, an island nation in the Gulf, near Iran.

The Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Gulf, is a crowded and tense waterway where one-fifth of the world’s oil is routed. Tensions have risen there over repeated Iranian threats to block tanker traffic in retaliation for tighter sanctions by the West. The sanctions are aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment program, so far without success.

Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz show no sign of abating.

The United States stoked the flames recently with an announcement that it will send U.S. Navy minesweepers and warships into the Gulf for exercises. The U.S. military maneuvers scheduled for September, to be joined by ships from about 20 American allies.

This is part of a Pentagon buildup in the Gulf with more troops and naval firepower, seeking to rattle Iran and reassure Saudi Arabia and Washington’s other Gulf Arab partners worried about Iran’s influence and power.

Iranian commanders and political leaders have stepped up threats and defiant statements in recent weeks over the Strait of Hormuz.

While it appears unlikely that Iran is ready to risk an almost certain military backlash by trying to close Hormuz — which is jointly controlled with Oman — the comments from Tehran show that Iranian authorities see the strait as perhaps their most valuable asset in brinkmanship over tightening sanctions.

Iranian officials have been quick to counter statements about closing the strait with observations that the situation is not likely to become that severe, indicating recognition that a step like closing the strait would have grave implications.

Warnings from Tehran in the past about possible closure have been enough to boost oil prices to offset the blow of sanctions. It’s also among the potential flashpoints if military force is used against Iran over its nuclear program.

If attacked, Iran could severely disrupt oil supplies and send the shaky global economy stumbling backward again.

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 suffered 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.

14 thoughts on “US Navy ship collides with oil tanker in Persian Gulf

  1. That’s what the U.S. gets for playing games too long in the Persian Gulf and disrupting the flow of oil business. Iran must love these kinds of stories because it shows that if you wait long enough, the U.S. will just destroy itself in the Middle East. It is like Bruce Lee’s art of “Fighting without having to fight.” lol

  2. Hey there, American worker.

    Work extra hard this week. We have to pay for major damages to ship because we were jackassing around the world with your tax money again.

    Our affirmative action military appreciates your support.

  3. Smooth sailing there, Captain Crunch. And right on target NC.

    The USraelis were probably hoping it was an Iranian vessel bearing down on them so they could call it an intentional provocation or kamikaze attack to give them an excuse to start another psychotic invasion. Look for Israel to blow something up in the Straits or Gulf soon (to be blamed on some patsy, of course), ’cause they are getting increasingly antsy to get more pieces removed from the chess board.

  4. Hehehe
    If you dont know how bigg a tanker is and can be, they are copared to this litle warsshipp, of planet size, and to stopp it takes the distance of Lightyears.

    How in the name of jesus managed they this, to colide with a Tanker, hehehe, this is hilarious.


    1. They told the tanker to freeze and it didn’t. These people are unacquainted with the laws of physics, otherwise they wouldn’t be thinking they could enslave 200 million heavily armed American nationals, they would know their plan has the same chance as stopping a tanker on a dime.

      1. lucky they didn’t start shooting when it didn’t “freeze” . The police back in the Fatherland sing out “freeze” count to 5 then shoot to kill.

  5. This twisted metal from a collision with a tanker !!! Can you Imagine what would happen to any US ship hit by our ADVANCED secret weapon that awaits US fleet.

  6. OH-OOOOooooooo!!!!

    Better get MAACO.

    I wonder how much the Navy’s deductable is?

    JD – US Marines – A Minimum of 6 people on the bridge usually,.. and nobody saw a tanker the size of a small country coming at them??

  7. Urban Legend, still at the right place here, since an oil tanker has the manouverablity of a light house.

    This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

    Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a Collision.

    Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

    Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

    Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

    Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

    Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call

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