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Watch: Russia and U.S. Blame Each Other for Unsafe Maneuver

Credit: U.S. Navy
Credit: U.S. Navy

By The Maritime Executive 06-07-2019 05:47:32

At approximately 11:45 am on June 7, 2019 while operating in the Philippine Sea, the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov sailed close to the USS Chancellorsville

The U.S. Navy says that the USS Chancellorsville was recovering her helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship DD572 maneuvered from behind and to the right of USS Chancellorsville, accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of ~50-100 feet. "This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision. 

“We consider Russia's actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), "Rules of the Road," and internationally recognized maritime customs.”

CNO Admiral John Richardson said: “The behavior by the Captain of the Russian destroyer in the Philippine Sea was irresponsible and reckless. This unwise maneuver, combined with the unsafe maneuvers by the Russian aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean earlier this week, make it clear that these dangerous actions by Russian military forces across the globe do not match what the world expects from a responsible and trustworthy world power. The U.S. Navy will not be deterred  from supporting the free and open use of the seas and skies where international law clearly allows all to operate.”

A Russian Pacific Fleet statement said a group of Russian warships were on a parallel course with a U.S. naval strike group. “The U.S guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed course and cut across the path of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov coming within 50 meters of the ship. A protest over the international radio frequency was made to the commanders of the American ship who were warned about the unacceptable nature of such actions.”

The U.S. Navy has released footage of the incident (in two parts):