U.S. Navy Ship, Merchant Vessel Collide Near Iraq

American Forces Press Service

NORTH ARABIAN GULF, March 26, 2006  - A foreign merchant vessel and a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer collided at 11:09 p.m. yesterday about 30 miles southeast of the Iraqi coastline in the North Arabian Gulf.

Two U.S. sailors aboard USS McCampbell received minor injuries from the collision. Two crewmembers from the Kiribati-flagged M/V Rokya 1 also received minor injuries and were treated on-scene by McCampbell's independent duty corpsman, so called because he or she is specially trained and qualified to be the only medical personnel aboard ship.

Both ships received damage on the bow and are deemed seaworthy. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

McCampbell, homeported in San Diego and currently on a routine six-month deployment, is one of several coalition assets conducting maritime security operations under the direction of Combined Task Force 58. CTF 58 is responsible for the security of the Basra and Khawr al-Amaya Iraqi oil terminals, the main sources of revenue for the Iraqi reconstruction effort.

Royal Navy Commodore Bruce Williams commands this task force, made up of Australian, American, United Kingdom and Iraqi personnel.

(Based on a news release from 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office.)

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