On Thursday morning, 11:45 am local time, a Russian Destroyer nearly collided with a United States Missile Cruiser in the Philippine Sea.
According to U.S. Navy spokesman Commander Clayton Doss and a video taken from the encounter, the Russian vessel came within about 50 to 100 feet of the American ship.
“At roughly 11:45AM on June 7, 2019 while operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer (UDALOY I DD 572) made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville, closing to ~50-100 feet putting the safety of her crew & ship at risk,” Doss said via Washington examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy.
“This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision,” Doss added via the Washington Examiner.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan reportedly called the encounter “unsafe and unprofessional,” ABC News reports.
“We’ll have military to military conversations with the Russians,” Shanahan continued. “And of course we’ll démarche them. But you know it’s — to me, safety at the end of the day is most important. It will not deter us from conducting our operations.”
Here’s more on the near-collision:
But the U.S. and Russia are at odds over what exactly happened. The Navy says the incident took place in the Philippine Sea, while the Russian military claims it took place in the East China Sea. Further, while the U.S. blames Russia for the maneuver, Russia says the cruiser suddenly veered off its path coming close to the Russian destroyer.
Friday’s incident comes days after the U.S. said Russia intercepted a U.S. aircraft flying over the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea three times in just three hours.
Here’s even more, from ABC News:
Russia’s Pacific Fleet argued it was the American ship that changed course without warning, forcing the Russian ship to execute an emergency maneuver to avoid collision. The Russian statement also said that the ship, the Admiral Vinogradov, broadcast a protest on an international frequency to the U.S. ship, telling it that its actions were unacceptable.
The Chancellorsville had just finished a replenishment at sea with the USNS John Ericsson when the Russian destroyer crossed in front of the bows of both ships at a distance of 1,000 yards, according to a narrative provided to ABC News by a U.S. official. Then, the Russian vessel came in from a position behind and to the right of the U.S. ship, turning into the Chancellorsville and accelerating at a close distance.
The Chancellorsville was steering on a course to recover a helicopter, flying specific flags to indicate its intent, the official said. While that was occurring, the Russian ship steered a course into the Chancellorsville and closed within 50 and 100 feet.