PortandTerminal.com, January 11, 2020
WASHINGTON – A Russian Navy ship made an aggressive approach on a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the Arabian Sea on Thursday, the Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a statement.
Russia has denied the incident, according to news reports, claiming “The crew of the Russian warship acted professionally, taking a maneuver that prevented a collision with the intruder ship,” the statement said.
Video of the incident tells a completely different story than what the Russians are saying.
Watch how aggressively the Russian warship comes up behind the American vessel in the second video from the U.S. 5th Fleet shown below.
What does the US Navy say?
The USS Farragut (DDG 99) was conducting routine operations in the northern Arabian Sea when it was “aggressively approached” by a Russian Navy ship, a U.S. 5th Fleet statement said.
“Farragut sounded five short blasts, the international maritime signal for danger of a collision, and requested the Russian ship alter course in accordance with international rules of the road. The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course and the two ships opened distance from one another. While the Russian ship took action, the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision,” the Fifth Fleet’s statement said.
“The U.S. Navy continues to remain vigilant and is trained to act in a professional manner. We continue to encourage vessels from all nations to operate in accordance with internationally recognized maritime laws, standards and norms,” it added.
The Russian Navy ship involved in the incident was not identified.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense denied the incident in a statement obtained by Russian news agency TASS, saying the Fifth Fleet’s recollection of the incident “does not correspond to reality”. The statement blamed the “unprofessional” American crew of the U.S. Navy destroyer and argued that it was the Farragut that was the give way vessel under the international collision regulations (COLREGs).
In June, the USS Chancellorsville and Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov came to within just 50 meters of each other while operating in the Philippine Sea. Both sides blamed each other for the incident. Here’s a video of that incident.
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