The U.S. Navy released footage Friday of a U.S. ship’s near collision with a Russian destroyer.
Russian sailors are seen sunbathing on the deck of the destroyer as it narrowly avoids running into a U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser in the footage. The Navy said the cruiser was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.
The USS Chancellorsville was operating in the Phillippine Sea on Friday when the Russian destroyer came up from behind and alongside, getting within 50 to 100 feet of the cruiser, the Navy said in a statement. “This unsafe action forced USS Chancellorsville to execute all engines back to full and to maneuver to avoid collision.” (RELATED: Russia Launches Deadly Doomsday Submarine)
“We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with … internationally recognized maritime customs,” the statement continued. The U.S. cruiser was flying flags to indicate it was steering on a specific course to recover a helicopter.
The Russian fleet said it was the USS Chancellorsville that abruptly changed course and forced the Russian destroyer to execute an emergency maneuver to avoid a collision.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said he was primarily worried about the safety of the crew on the ship. “The behavior is unsafe and unprofessional,” he told reporters. “We’ll have military to military conversations with the Russians. And of course we’ll demarche them. But you know it’s, to me, safety at the end of the day is most important.”