Navy ships collide a day before arrival in San Diego

The amphibious assault ship USS Essex experienced a steering malfunction during a fueling rendezvous, the Navy said.

Story highlights

  • No injuries reported as two Navy ships collide about 120 miles off the California coast
  • Amphibious assault ship USS Essex and refueling vessel USNS Yukon are involved
  • A steering malfunction occurred aboard USS Essex, the Navy says
Two U.S. Navy ships collided Wednesday off the coast of San Diego, according to Navy officials.
No injuries have been reported and the cause of the accident is still under investigation, but it appears to be a steering malfunction, Navy spokesman Cmdr. Charlie Brown said.
Both ships -- the USS Essex, an amphibious assault ship, and the USNS Yukon, a refueling ship -- were damaged, but the full extent was not immediately known, Brown said.
According to a U.S. Navy statement, the accident occurred about 9:20 a.m. PT about 120 miles off the coast of Southern California. The ships were approaching each other as the Yukon was preparing to refuel the Essex, the Navy said.
The steering malfunction was aboard the Essex, the Navy said.
The Essex is scheduled to return to San Diego May 17 after completing 12 years as the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in Sasebo, Japan.