Last Service Member Released from Hospital After Landing Vessel Collision Injured 35 in Florida

U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion
A boatswain's mate 1st Class stores a firehose aboard a U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion, Aug. 23, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Darcy McAtee/Released)

After nearly three dozen service members were injured earlier this month when their landing crafts collided off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, during a night operation, the last sailor to have gone to the hospital has been released.

Two vessels called landing craft, air cushions, or LCACs, collided with each other on the night of May 1, resulting in 35 Marines and sailors being injured. Five sailors were transported to the hospital, and all but one were released that same week.

The last sailor who was hospitalized after the incident was released from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia on May 13, according to a service spokesperson on Friday.

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Last week, the Naval Safety Command updated its list of "short narratives" that describe serious incidents that occur within the Navy and Marine Corps. It said that a "collision during LCAC night operations resulted in damaged assets and injuries to personnel."

The Navy confirmed the collision occurred between the two vessels. Originally, the service said that 30 sailors and Marines had been injured, but later updated that number to 35.

The safety command marked the incident as a "Class A Mishap," meaning that it caused more than $2,500,000 in damage, destroyed the equipment, or resulted in a fatality or permanent total disability for a service member.

While the incident was not fatal, the Navy did not specify how much the damage cost or the nature of the troops' injuries. The service told on Friday that the two LCACs, which launched separately from the USS Wasp and USS New York, were safely transported to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, following the incident.

Service members who were not transported to the hospital were treated for "minor injuries" aboard the Wasp and New York. The incident remains under investigation, a spokesperson for the U.S. 2nd Fleet, Cmdr. Lara Bollinger, told on Friday.

The sailors and Marines were part of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, or ARG, which includes the Wasp, New York and USS Oak Hill. The Marines aboard the LCACs are from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU.

LCACs are 91-foot-long vessels -- driven by ducted propellers -- that transport cargo and troops from ship to shore, though the exact nature of the mission that the troops were conducting is unclear.

The sailors and Marines had been in pre-deployment training last month. The ARG is now underway in the Atlantic, according to posts from last week.

Related: 30 Sailors and Marines Injured in Training Incident Off Coast of Florida

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