A South Korean fishing boat collided with cruiser Lake Champlain during reduced visibility in the Sea of Japan midday Tuesday, Navy officials said.
There were no injuries and the Navy is investigating the extent of the damages, a Navy official said. Lake Champlain is part of the Carl Vinson carrier strike group, which is paroling the waters off North Korea as part of a presence mission aimed at deterring North Korea's accelerated missile and nuclear programs, which threaten the U.S. and its key allies in the region.
The boat struck the San Diego-based Lake Champlain amidships on the port side despite the ship's efforts to hail the boat on bridge-to-bridge radio. Prior to the collision, the ship sounded five short blasts from its horn, the international collision warning. After the collision, the South Korean navy ran down the boat and interviewed the master who told them his boat did not have a working bridge-to-bridge radio nor a working GPS, Navy officials said. The master claimed he did not see the Lake Champlain until it was too late.
Visibility at the time of the incident was about four miles with a relatively calm sea state.
Both the Navy and the South Korean coast guard are investigating the incident, according a release from U.S. 7th Fleet.
Lake Champlain deployed in January and was recently extended for a month in response to rising tensions with North Korea.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.