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    SECONDS FROM DISASTER

    Russian and U.S. Warships ‘Nearly Collide’ in Pacific Ocean

    Reuters / Kimimasa Mayama

    This could have been much, much worse. An international incident was narrowly avoided Friday when Russian and U.S. warships had to perform emergency maneuvers to prevent them from colliding in the Pacific. Both sides are claiming that the other was at fault. The two opposing reports agree that the ships came somewhere between 50 feet and 165 feet of hitting each other, and both say they carried out emergency procedures. “A Russian destroyer... made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville, closing to 50-100 feet, putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk,” a U.S. Navy spokesman, Cmdr. Clayton Doss, told CNN. “This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision... We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional.” Russia’s Pacific Fleet disagreed, telling Russian state media the U.S. ship “suddenly changed its direction and crossed within 50 meters” of the Russian vessel. The U.S. said it happened in the Philippine Sea, but Russia said it happened in the East China Sea.