USS Essex collides with fleet oiler off California coast
The amphibious assault ship Essex collided with the oiler Yukon during an underway replenishment operation in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California, 3rd Fleet said in a statement.
The collision happened about 120 miles out at sea as Essex approached the Yukon for a scheduled underway replenishment, Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a fleet spokesman, said.
“Both ships reported some damage,” Brown said. The damage “is still being assessed” but no injuries were reported. The collision appeared “due to an apparent steerage malfunction” aboard Essex, 3rd Fleet said. No fuel was spilled, “and the ships’ fuel tanks and systems were not compromised.
The Essex was set to pull into San Diego Bay later, returning to its former stateside homeport after spending a dozen years with the forward-deployed naval forces in Japan.