No one was injured when a French military-owned landing craft had a minor accident yesterday morning during an exercise, said U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Tim Gorman.
The accident occurred on Reserve Craft Beach, which is on Navy property, he said.
One of the propellers on the utility boat was damaged during the accident around 7 a.m., but the vessel was freed and made its way back to the Navy base harbor on its own, Gorman said.
Yesterday's exercise was postponed, but it’s part of a broader multinational exercise that continues elsewhere in the Marianas involving U.S. Marines, military troops from France and the United Kingdom, and defense personnel from Japan.
“I have directed all training operations associated with this exercise to be stopped until we conduct a thorough assessment of the facts surrounding this event,” said Capt. Jeff Grimes, Joint Region Marianas chief of staff.
U.S. and government of Guam partners are coordinating to assess possible environmental impacts from the accident involving the French Navy boat that impacted the sea floor in Apra Harbor around 7 a.m., according to a U.S. military press release.
There was no indication of petroleum products leaking into the water, according to the Navy.
Still, the Navy is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Guam Department of Agriculture, the French navy and other organizations to further assess the situation.
The broader, multinational exercise – called Jeanne D'Arc – is being led by the French military. The exercise started Thursday and continues through May 18 in waters around the Marianas.
"Jeanne D'Arc is a French-led exercise aimed at strengthening strategic partnerships and exercising freedom of navigation operations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," according to the U.S. military.
Also participating in the exercise are French Navy amphibious assault ship FS Mistral, a helicopter carrier, and La Fayette-class frigate FS Courbet.