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March 20, 2009

U.S. Navy vessels collide in Strait of Hormuz

The Navy has confirmed that the nuclear submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) and the amphibious ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) collided in the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 1:00 a.m. local time today (5:00 p.m. EDT, March 19).

The Strait of Hormuz is the relatively narrow and strategic corridor of water that connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The Hormuz Strait is bordered by the Iranian coast to the north and the United Arab Emirates and a part of Oman to the south.

Fifteen sailors aboard the Hartford [which was submerged] were slightly injured and returned to duty. No personnel aboard New Orleans were injured.

Overall damage to both ships is being evaluated. The propulsion plant of the submarine was unaffected by this collision. New Orleans suffered a ruptured fuel tank, which resulted in an oil spill of approximately 25,000 gallons of marine diesel fuel. Both ships are currently operating under their own power.

The incident is currently under investigation.

Both the submarine and the ship are currently on regularly scheduled deployments to the U.S. Navy Central Command area of responsibility conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO).


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