Russian and US Ships Come Within Feet of Colliding

Each side blames the other
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2019 9:07 AM CDT

A near collision, followed by angry, it-was-your-fault finger-pointing. Not so unusual, except in this case, the close call involved a US Navy cruiser and a Russian destroyer. The incident happened Friday in the Philippine Sea, when the ships came within 50 to 100 feet of each other, reports the New York Times. The Navy, which posted two videos of the incident, says the Russian ship "accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance" of the guided missile cruiser the USS Chancellorsville, per the Washington Post. "This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision," continues its statement, which calls Russia's actions "unprofessional."

Not so, says Russia. Its own statement on the matter says the Chancellorsville "suddenly changed directions and came within 50 meters [164 feet] of the Russian destroyer." As a result, "the Admiral Vinogradov’s crew was forced to conduct an emergency maneuver." Essentially, Russia accuses the American ship of swerving in front of the Russian vessel and impeding its path, reports NPR. The incident comes just days after the Navy alleged that a Russia fighter plane flew "directly in front" of a Navy plane, a P-8A Poseidon, in "irresponsible" manner that endangered lives. (More Navy stories.)

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