As of now, the U.S. Navy has launched an investigation into how its 19,000-ton cargo ship, USNS Alan Shepard, ran aground in the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain while moving under its own propulsion from ASRY shipyard in Al Hidd to a pier at Khalifa Bin Salman Port. The incident occurred over the weekend but was successfully resolved with the assistance of tugboats, which maneuvered the ship back under its own power during high tide, safely mooring it pierside in Bahrain. Fortunately, no personnel were injured during the grounding.
The USNS Alan Shepard is a cargo ship that transports dry cargo and ammunition, and it was commissioned in 2007, according to the Naval Vessel Register.
This incident of the USNS Alan Shepard running aground has similarities to a previous case in 2017 when the USS Antietam, a guided missile destroyer, ran aground in Tokyo Bay, resulting in a spill of around 1,100 gallons of hydraulic fluid. An investigation into that incident revealed that the former commanding officer of the USS Antietam was deemed “ultimately responsible” for the mishap. The incident led to a repair bill of at least $4.2 million.
Additionally, in late 2022, there was another near-miss incident in San Diego Bay involving two U.S. Navy warships. The guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen and the dock landing ship USS Harper’s Ferry nearly collided, prompting an evasive maneuver by the USS Momsen to avoid a head-on collision.
These incidents highlight the importance of rigorous investigations into maritime mishaps to identify the causes and prevent similar occurrences in the future.