Thursday, May 17, 2012
When the USNS Yukon collided with the San Diego-bound USS Essex yesterday morning, it wasn't the first time the fleet replenishment oiler was involved in an at-sea collision. In fact, the Yukon has been involved at least two previous collisions, according to the Associated Press:
[I]ncluding on Feb. 27, 2000, when [the Yukon] collided with a 135-foot civilian cargo ship while trying to enter Dubai’s Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates. The Yukon sustained minor damage.
Less than five months later, it was hit by the USS Denver during refueling off the coast of Hawaii. Both ships sustained heavy damage.
Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the 3rd Fleet, told the AP that Navy crews investigation Wednesday morning's collision believe the steering stopped working on the Essex - and it was that malfunction that caused the ships to hit each other.
The AP reports the USS Essex is still expected to arrive in its new homeport of San Diego this morning after a 12 year absence.