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On the sunny morning of 27th April 1983, in the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Oman, there was a miscalculation during a series of ship manoeuvres which led to HMS Ambuscade and USS Dale being the wrong distance apart.

Both ships attempted to correct this at the same time and as a result HMS AMBUSCADE collided with the much larger USS DALE CG19, resulting in serious damage to the Ambuscade's bow and minor damage to USS Dale.

The ship was called to emergency stations. Some of the crew were in bed because they involved in parallel exercises and operating in defence watches, (6-hours on/off)

Damage control teams and divers ensured that compartments next to the damaged area were made watertight.

The USN offered help and their Sea King Helicopter managed to blow our Flight Deck Officer (Master At Arms Phil Hudson) overboard with it's rotor down-rush whilst hovering over the flight deck.

A large number of crates of beer had fallen through the hole into the sea. Some was 'rescued' by the Gemini and taken to the sailor's Mess for safe-keeping!

A decision was made to sail to Bombay (4 days' sail away) for repairs. Luckily the sea remained calm during the journey.

There followed a six week stay in Bombay (now Mumbai), where the crew were housed in the President and Ambassador hotels.

Everyone was also flown to Goa for a week's RNR.
(We had it tough the RN)!

HMS Ambuscade collides with USS dale in 1983

Photo taken during the collision from USS Mcinerney 1t 10:35 on 27th April 1983

Soviet May
USSR 'May' Maritime Patrol Aircraft takes a look

photo © Steve Griffin

T-Shirt -Terry Coupe's design

USS Dale
USS Dale


Ambuscade damaged bow
Ambuscade eating Dale
photos © Richard Gough HMS Avenger

USS Dale

USS Dale Crew Members

If you were on the USS Dale during the collision,

please contact us and tell us your account and send photographs!

The US Navy finished off what Ambuscade attempted to do on April 6, 2000, when USS DALE became the target of a SINKEX in the Atlantic.

email Ambuscade Association

Collision Personal Accounts


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