(AP) MANAMA, Bahrain – The USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier collided with a dhow in the Arabian Gulf while running night flights in support of U.S. operations in Iraq, the Navy said Friday. The crew of the small boat was missing.
The Navy said none of its sailors were hurt and described the Thursday night collision as an accident. A nearby British warship, the Somerset, sent teams to search for the dhow’s crew but had found nothing so far, the Navy said in a statement from its 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain.
Fleet spokesman Cmdr. James Graybeal said via telephone that “there is nothing to indicate that this is anything more than a maritime accident.”
In October 2000, suicide attackers detonated explosives on a small boat they had brought alongside the USS Cole destroyer as it refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed.
A July 1 U.S. State Department advisory cautioned Americans against traveling to Bahrain and advised those who live there to leave. The Pentagon followed by withdrawing service members’ families and nonessential personnel from Bahrain.
The Kennedy is based in Mayport, Fla.