2017-05-09 19:24
US warship collides with S. Korean fishing boat
The U.S. Navy's Carl Vinson Strike Group holds a joint exercise with South Korean warships in the East Sea in this undated file photo provided by South Korea's Navy. / Yonhap

A U.S. naval ship collided with a South Korean fishing vessel in the East Sea on Tuesday during its training mission in a highly unusual incident, according to defense authorities here.

"There was an accident involving the U.S. cruiser USS Lake Champlain and the South Korean fishing ship 502 Namyang in the waters 56 miles south of Ulleung Island at around noon today," a military official said.

But there was no report of any casualties from the accident involving the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and the 9.77-ton, 20-meter-long small fishing boat with six people on board, he added.

The U.S. Naval Forces Korea said the cruiser was conducting "routine operations in international waters." Lake Champlain's port side collided with the ship.

Even after the collision, it said, both ships were able to navigate under their own power and no one was injured.

U.S. Navy and South Korea's Coast Guard are investigating the cause of the incident, with damage assessments of both ships also under way, it said.

As part of the Carl Vinson Strike Group, the cruiser is currently on a Western-Pacific deployment, along with several other ships, including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy. 

The team has staged joint drills with South Korean warships near the peninsula. (Yonhap)