No Injuries After Navy Ships Collide Off East Coast

The guided-missile cruiser Leyte Gulf (CG 55) departs Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, on Nov. 2, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Garrett LaBarge)
The guided-missile cruiser Leyte Gulf (CG 55) departs Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, on Nov. 2, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Garrett LaBarge)

A Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and a dry cargo ship collided stern-to-stern during a resupply operation in the Atlantic off the southeastern coast of the U.S., the Navy announced Tuesday.

The cruiser Leyte Gulf and cargo ship Robert E. Peary "made contact" during an underway replenishment operation, Navy officials said in a release. No personnel were injured, and both ships were able to operate following the encounter.

The news of the collision was first reported by USNI News, which added that damage was minor and occurred above the waterline.

The incident happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday; the ships are now headed into port at Norfolk to assess damage, according to the release.

"U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Military Sealift Command will thoroughly investigate this incident," officials said in a statement.

The ships were operating in conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is conducting pre-deployment operations off the coast of Norfolk. The Lincoln is expected to deploy to the newly re-established 2nd Fleet this spring.

While Navy ship collisions are historically rare, the service is still recovering from a devastating year in 2017.

In June and August of that year, two destroyers were involved in separate deadly collisions in the Pacific. In all, 17 sailors died in the two collisions. The tragedies prompted a series of Navy reviews and policy changes ranging from improved sleep schedules for deployed sailors to updated training protocols for Navy surface officers.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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