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US naval ship runs aground in Black Sea: Pentagon

WASHINGTON: One of two US naval ships sent to the Black Sea as a security precaution for the Sochi Olympic games ran aground at a Turkish port, officials said Tuesday.

The frigate USS Taylor briefly ran ground last Wednesday as it was preparing to moor at Samsun, where it was due to refuel, Navy officials said.

"There were no reported injuries, and the incident is currently under investigation," the Navy said in a statement.

The ship was able to dock at the port and an initial inspection indicated the ship's propeller blades suffered some damage, but there was no damage to the hull, officials said.

It was unclear when the ship, which has a crew of about 200 sailors, would return to its duties in the Black Sea, said Commander Philip Rosi, spokesman for the US Sixth Fleet, which oversees American ships in the Mediterranean.

He said in an email that "it is too early to determine the impact to the schedule."

The embarrassing incident came after the Pentagon made a point of announcing the deployment of the frigate as well as another ship, the USS Mount Whitney, a command vessel, to the region to coincide with the Winter Olympics.

Amid concerns about possible terror attacks by Islamist militants at the games, Washington had sent the two ships to the region to be on hand in case of an emergency requiring the evacuation of Americans or other military assistance.

US officials had previously complained that Russian authorities were reluctant to share some intelligence on potential threats.

 

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