According to local news reports, the USS Lake Champlain, an American Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser out of San Diego, California, has collided with a fishing vessel off the coast the Korean peninsula.

The collision has been categorized as “minor” by South Korean officials who have launched an investigation into the incident.  A parallel U.S. Navy investigation has also been launched.

According to a brief statement released by the Navy, the 568-foot Lake Champlain collided with a 60-70-foot fishing vessel at around mid-ship on the port side (the middle portion of the ship’s left side, as seen from the bridge).  The incident took place at around 11:50AM local time on Tuesday.  Visibility was reportedly limited at the time of the collision.

A Navy representative told the press that “it’s very common” to have small boats approach large American Navy ships, and that the vessel did not demonstrate any threatening behavior or weapon systems to speak of.  None the less, it is extremely uncommon for the U.S. Navy to be involved in such an embarrassing error, and despite efforts to downplay the incident, there’s no doubt that such a collision indicates a failure at some level to take appropriate action to avoid such a mishap.