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U.S. carrier collides with boat

The warship was carrying out night flight operations in support of U.S.-led forces in Iraq, the U.S. Navy said.
U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy has collided with an unidentified dhow while on patrol in the Arabian Gulf, the U.S. Navy said.

No survivors from the dhow, a small traditional vessel, were found after Thursday night's incident. All of the Kennedy's crew and aircraft were accounted for.

The U.S. Navy was conducting an investigation into the incident.

The dhow sank immediately on collision. Alhough the Kennedy and a British warship, HMS Somerset, launched a search-and-rescue mission, no survivors were found.

It was unclear how many crew were on board the dhow, but the small vessels, used mainly for transport and fishing, usually carry up to 15 people.

"There is every reason to believe the collision was an accident, but there are force protection implications because warships make every effort to stay away from unknown small boats which could pose a terrorist threat," a Navy spokesman said.

Concern about small boats near warships has grown since October 2000, when suicide attackers detonated explosives on a small boat they brought alongside the USS Cole destroyer as it refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the attack.

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