HomeNewsU.S. Navy Warships Nearly Collide in San Diego, Intense Video Shows

U.S. Navy Warships Nearly Collide in San Diego, Intense Video Shows

by Suzanne Halliburton
James R. Evans/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

The Navy is investigating a near collision of two of its warships in San Diego Bay. A web cam captured the dramatic moments, along with the audio.

And in a tweet, the official account for the San Diego Web Cam called it “Warship Chicken.” The incident, involving the USS Momsen and the USS Harpers Ferry, unfolded mid-morning Tuesday. The Momsen is a guided-missile destroyer. Harpers Ferry is a dock-landing ship. Harpers Ferry was leaving, while the Momsen was inbound.

Check out the intense video:

Naval Base San Diego is the homeport for the Pacific Fleet Surface Navy. The base has 56 ships and two auxiliary vessels. Plus, the base hosts visiting ships from foreign Navies and other U.S. ports and the Coast Guard. So it’s a busy place.

The Momsen, which launched in 2003, is based in San Diego. The ship Harpers Ferry, which is about 30 years old, is based near Seattle. These sorts of dock-landing ships transport landing craft and amphibious vehicles.

How Did These Naval Warships Avoid Each Other in San Diego Bay?

How did these two warships avoid each other in San Diego Bay? Veer to port. That’s a turn to the left.

If you check out the tweet, you’ll see the video and hear the audio. But the San Diego Web Cam account explained that it’s unclear how close the two ships actually came to hitting each other.

One tweet said: “Before this blows up too much, it should be noted that while the depiction seen here is accurate, the video and audio are not in sync. We employ measures to protect our military service members, some you see and some you don’t. In this case, audio was delayed more than video.”

The Navy Times reached a spokesman for the U.S. 3rd Fleet. Lt. Samuel Boyle told the news site that the ships were “in close vicinity.” But each was going in the opposite direction. He said both ships maneuvered safely to avoid the other. Boyle said there were no injuries. Neither ship reported any damage.

The Stars and Stripes reported that there were two incidents Tuesday involving Navy warships based in San Diego. A fire also broke out on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Nine sailors suffered injuries, with six complaining of dehydration. The carrier was performing routine operations off the Southern California coast when the fire broke out. The Navy is investigating this incident as well. None of the injuries were serious and the nuclear-powered carrier did not need to return to port.