- Post 17 May 2012
- By Copy Editor
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two U.S. Navy ships collided off the coast of California on Wednesday due to a steering malfunction during a refueling operation, damaging both vessels but causing no injuries, the Navy said in a statement.
The Navy identified the ships involved as the USS Essex, an amphibious assault ship, and the USNS Yukon, a Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler based in San Diego.
"While both ships reported some damage, no one was injured, there was no fuel spilled and the ships' fuel tanks and systems were not compromised," the Navy statement said.
The ships would have been sailing parallel to one another during the operation, a Navy spokesman said.
The USNS Yukon had previously collided with another ship during a refueling operation in 2000, causing significant damage but no injuries, according to the Navy.
The USS Essex, dubbed the "Iron Gator," was scheduled to return to San Diego on Thursday after a 12-year deployment in Sasebo, Japan.
The Navy said it would investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.
(Writing By Cynthia Johnston and Mary Slosson; Editing by Greg McCune)