U.S. naval ship grounded off Japanese coast

Story highlights

  • A cargo ship has run aground 6 nautical miles off the coast of Uruma, Japan
  • No one was hurt, and crew remains on board, U.S. Navy says

(CNN)An American naval cargo ship has run aground off the Japanese coast, east of Okinawa, and efforts are underway to refloat it, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.

"The safety of the civilian crew members and the environment are our top priorities. So we're taking this situation very seriously and will continue to investigate the situation until it's resolved," said Cmdr. William Marks, spokesman for the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet.
The U.S. Navy identified the ship as the Military Sealift Command prepositioning vessel USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak. The Navy said it was stuck 6 nautical miles off Uruma, on the island of Okinawa.
"The ship is stable right now," Marks said. "Any water found in the ship is just from the normal tide going in and out."
Tugs were at the location, assessing the best way to free the vessel in conjunction with the Japanese.
"The U.S. Navy is working closely with Japanese authorities to assess the situation and determine the best course of action to refloat the vessel," the Navy said. "No leaks from the hull have been found and no damage to the surrounding area has been reported."
The ship carries 131 crew members -- 38 civilians and 67 Army and 26 Marine Corps personnel, the Navy said. All were unhurt and still on board, it said.
The Military Sealift Command operates more than 100 noncombat, civilian crew ships that service the Defense Department in specialized missions, according to its website.