DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A US Navy guided missile destroyer was left with a gaping hole on one side after it collided with an oil tanker early Sunday just outside the Strait of Hormuz.
The collision outside the strategic waterway left a breach about 10 feet by 10 feet in the starboard side of USS Porter. No one was injured on either vessel, the Navy said.
The collision with the Panamanian-flagged and Japanese-owned bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan happened about 1 a.m. local time. Photos released by the Navy showed workers standing amid twisted metal and other debris hanging down from the hole.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Navy said, though the collision was not combat related. There were no reports of spills or leakages from either the USS Porter or the Otowasan, the Navy said.
Navy spokesman Greg Raelson said the destroyer is now in port in Jebel Ali, Dubai. ‘‘We’re just happy there were no injuries,’’ he said.
The USS Porter is on a scheduled deployment to the US Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, an island nation in the Gulf, near Iran.
The Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Gulf, is a crowded and tense waterway where one-fifth of the world’s oil is routed. Tensions have risen there over repeated Iranian threats to block tanker traffic in retaliation for tighter sanctions by the West. The sanctions are aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment program, so far without success.
The United States stoked the flames recently with an announcement that it will send Navy minesweepers and warships into the Gulf for exercises. The US military maneuvers scheduled for September are to be joined by ships from about 20 American allies.
This is part of a Pentagon buildup in the Gulf with more troops and naval firepower, seeking to rattle Iran and reassure Saudi Arabia and Washington’s other Gulf Arab partners worried about Iran’s influence and power.