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spotlight March 4 on the USNS
Victorious operating in the Yellow
Sea 125 miles from China's coast.
Chinese maritime aircraft "buzzed" the ship 12 times March 5.
A Chinese frigate crossed the bow of the Impeccable at a range of about 100 yards March 5. Maritime aircraft buzzed the ship after that incident.
Another Chinese ship challenged
Impeccable over bridge-to-bridge radio March 7, calling its operations illegal and directing the American ship to leave the area or "suffer the consequences," officials said.
The Impeccable is one of six sur- veillance ships that gather underwater acoustical data, Whitman said. U.S. ships routinely operate in the area. "We expect Chinese ships to act responsibly and refrain from provoca- tive activities that could lead to mis- calculation or a collision at sea, endangering vessels and the lives of
U.S. and Chinese mariners," a
Defense Department official said.
U.S. embassy officials lodged a protest against these actions with the
Foreign Ministry in China, and
Defense Department officials have protested with the Chinese embassy here. (Reported by Jim Garamone, American
Forces Press Service, as posted on www.navy.mil) 14 MTR April 2009 news
Two Chinese trawlers stop directly in front of the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS
Impeccable (T-AGOS-23), forcing the ship to conduct an emergency "all stop" in order to avoid collision. The incident took place in international waters in the South China Sea about 75 miles south of Hainan Island. The trawlers came within 25 feet of
Impeccable, as part of an apparent coordinated effort to harass the unarmed ocean surveillance ship. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
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