US Navy ship USS Taylor on Olympics duty ran aground

By Vessels

The frigate USS Taylor ran aground in the Turkish port of Samsun a week ago. The US Navy ship has been assigned to the Black Sea to guard the American citizens on the Sochi Winter Olympics. The incident with the vessel occurred when the frigate stopped a the the port to refuel. No one was injured during the incident, but the frigate USS Taylor sustained damage to the ship’s propeller blades (the hull of the ship was not damaged). The US Navy ship had to stay at the port in order experts to determine how bad the frigate was damaged.

This information was confirmed by the U.S. Naval Forces Europe. It was announced that the US Navy ship USS Taylor was preparing to moor in the port of Samsun (the Turkish port is located 240 miles southwest of Sochi) when ran aground. It was planned the vessel to stop briefly at the port to refuel, but now it is not known how the schedule for Black Sea will change. The exact distance of the ship to the pier in the time of the incident is not known. 

Two ships have been assigned for this military operation in the Black Sea, the USS Taylor and the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney. The vessels are in the region since the start of the Sochi Olympics. Their mission in fact is a regular maritime security operation in the Black Sea because of the Olympics threats by Islamic militants who could attack American citizens. Both ships were able to be tracked since they entered the Black Sea on February 4-5 because the vessels had turned on the navigation beacons known as AIS – Automatic Identification System. AIS is turned on by U.S. Navy ships during deployments. 

International maritime borders start 12 miles from the country's coastline, U.S. Navy ships were located 18-20 nautical miles off the coast of Sochi in international waters. USS Taylor was tracked heading to Samsun on February 12, since then the frigate had to remain in the port as a result of the incident. A fuel spill from the prop of the ship was spotted and was contained by an oil boom by port authorities. 175 gallons of fuel leaked from the ship, but it was announced that the spill had been cleaned. The grounding incident of the US Navy ship was not revealed immediately to the public. An investigation of the incident is underway.