Well when you navigate in shoal waters it can happen all too easily. A PRC PLAN frigate grounded while prowling around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Half Moon Shoal. This is one of the disputed islands with the Philippines which claims they are part of its territorial waters but is unable to enforce their claim. This news came in this morning from BBC Asia to the NAUTICAL LOG Press Folder.
Of interest is the fact that when the PLAN frigate went aground their were six PLAN vessels nearby that could render assistance (actually more vessels than the entire Philippine Navy) and refloat the ship. Thus the incident could be controlled before there was yet another international incident over the South China Sea territorial claims.
According to the PRC MOD the PLAN frigate is returning home under its own power with relatively minor damage - no doubt with an end to the Commanding Officers career along with the Bridge Watch team.