- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 22, 2009

MANAMA, BAHRAIN (AP) - A U.S. Navy submarine and amphibious ship arrived at a Bahrain port Saturday after colliding the day before in a strategic passageway in the Persian Gulf, the Navy said.

The two naval vessels were brought to the Mina Salman pier for futher damage assessment, the U.S. Fifth Fleet said in a statement. It said the cause of the collision was under investigation.

The USS Hartford, a nuclear-powered submarine, and the USS New Orleans, an amphibious ship, were heading to the port and were going in the same direction when they crashed before dawn Friday in the narrow Strait of Hormuz.

Fifteen sailors aboard the Hartford were slightly injured. Both ships were on regularly scheduled deployments to the region and conducting security operations, the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said.

New Orleans suffered a ruptured fuel tank, which resulted in a spill of approximately 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the Strait of Hormuz. The propulsion plant of the submarine was unaffected, the statement said.

Aerial searches revealed no signs that any fuel remained on the ocean’s surface, the statement said.

The unusual collision between members of the same navy sparked a sudden rise in oil on Friday even though the strait remained open.



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