Seeing a title like “Navy Ship Runs Aground” usually causes a flow of questions to arise in the mind of the reader.
Which navy? Where? How? and, probably, the most puzzling — Why?
The navy involved in this incident is none other than the US Navy!
One of the two warships it sent to the Black Sea, just before the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics, ran aground last week. The Navy says no one was injured.
The frigate USS Taylor is currently in a Turkish port undergoing an inspection for damage it incurred after it ran aground on February 12. It was preparing to moor at Samsun, Turkey, about 230 miles southwest of Sochi when the accident happened.
Local Turkish officials seem to think that the damage is not serious, and that repairs will be completed “in a day or two.” It appears that the ship’s propeller scraped the surface as it was mooring at Samsun. The Turkish authorities have agreed the ship can remain for the time being.
Lt. Shawn Eklund, a Navy spokesman, said that even with the USS Taylor out of action, the US would still be able to respond to any crisis if necessary.
“The Navy is still prepared to render support to the Russian Federation in the event of a crisis or contingency operation,” Eklund said.
Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said on Wednesday that:
“The Navy has ships available for multiple taskings, assets that could be called upon, should they be the appropriate asset, and should the State Department request them. There’s been no request at this time.”
The USS Taylor is a guided-missile frigate, and together with the USS Mount Whitney, an amphibious command ship, arrived in the Black Sea early this month.
It happens that the USS Whitney is the flagship of the US 6th Fleet in Europe.
As a precaution, an official confirmed that security around the port had been tightened and that the Coast Guard had increased patrols.
The questions as to why and how this Navy ship ran aground will no doubt be answered after a Naval investigation has been completed.
But will the conclusions be published?