35 U.S Soldiers Injured After 2 Landing Craft Ships Collided In Florida

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30 U.S sailors and Marines were injured in a training “accident” off North Florida, including five who required hospitalization, according to the U.S. Navy.

One sailor remained hospitalized Friday for treatment of injuries sustained after two Navy air-cushioned landing craft, or LCACs, collided during a training exercise off Florida Wednesday evening, injuring 30 sailors and Marines, Navy officials said Friday afternoon.

The service is investigating the mishap, which happened off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, during a pre-deployment Composite Training Unit Exercise with amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1), amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD-21) and the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, U.S. 2nd Fleet officials said a statement Friday afternoon to USNI.

There were 18 sailors and 20 Marines aboard the two LCACs when the craft collided, and 30 of them were injured. “Both LCACs involved in the incident remained afloat and have since returned to their ships,” Lt. Cmdr. Kristi Johnson, 2nd Fleet deputy public affairs officer, said in a statement. One LCAC came from Wasp, the other from New York.

“A third LCAC rendered immediate assistance and transported all 38 sailors and Marines” to the two ships, where medical personnel evaluated them for treatment, Johnson said.

“One sailor remains under medical care at a hospital in Savannah, Georgia, and our primary focus is on our sailor’s health and well-being,” Johnson said. “We will continue to provide updates as information is available. The incident remains under investigation.

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“Five sailors who were injured were medically evacuated for further care at Savannah Memorial University Medical Center, and four have been released from the hospital after treatment, Navy officials said. Other sailors and Marines with minor injuries were treated aboard Wasp and New York.

Fleet officials provided no further details about the incident.

Wasp is the lead ship for the Norfolk, Virginia, based Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, which has embarked the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for scheduled training ahead of a planned overseas deployment.

“The recovery and investigation processes are ongoing, and more information will be provided by U.S. 2nd Fleet once available,” 2nd Fleet said

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