A Russian ship nearly collided with a US ship, the USS Chancellorsville, coming about 50-100 feet from it in the Philippine Sea at 11:45 a.m. Friday morning. The Russian ship reportedly made an unsafe maneuver, forcing the US ship to hit full reverse, according to Fox.
“We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), ‘Rules of the Road,’ and internationally recognized maritime customs.” US 7th Fleet statement
The USS Chancellorsville is a guided missile cruiser. The Russian ship, Udaloy I DD 572 is an anti-submarine destroyer.
As usual, Russia claimed that their ship was the victim and that the US was the one that hindered the passage of the Admiral Vinogradov by coming within 160 feet of the vessel. US officials dismissed their account as “propaganda.”
It’s not the first time Russia has conducted “unprofessional” actions with regard to the US and other countries, both in the air and at sea. This near-collision was particularly dangerous, as the ocean waves could easily have caused a collision even without crossing paths.
Did the Russian ship commander think it was funny? Russia has often allowed its aircraft to do dangerous maneuvers in coming too close to US aircraft. Another incident of that nature occurred just three days ago in the Mediterranean, when a Russian aircraft came too close to a US reconnaissance plane.
You can see the incident in this video released by the US Navy of the Russian encounter with the USS Chancellorsville:
As we have seen over the last few years, ship to ship collisions cause death, not just destruction of expensive battleships. From the incidents of the USS Fitzgerald, and the USS John McCain, several sailors died and massively expensive battleships were damaged. Those incidents resulted in commanders being relieved of duty, and investigations into the causes of the collisions.
A culture change of the way the Navy conducted their watch stations was ordered. That was difficult enough, but when another nation deliberately pushes the envelope of safety, they can harm themselves as well.
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