Tags: report | ship | collision | autopilot | us destroyer

Report: Ship Was on Autopilot When It Hit US Destroyer

Image: Report: Ship Was on Autopilot When It Hit US Destroyer
The damaged USS Fitzgerald is towed by a tugboat in the waters near the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the Izu Peninsula, June 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

By    |   Friday, 23 Jun 2017 10:40 AM

A cargo ship was on autopilot when it collided with a U.S. destroyer killing seven Navy sailors, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

A computerized navigation system was steering and guiding the Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal at the time of the deadly collision with the USS Fitzgerald according to the Free Beacon. The website attributed the information to "officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation."

No evidence has been found to suggest the June 17 collision off the coast of Japan was deliberate, the Free Beacon said.

"Nevertheless, an accident during computerized navigation raises the possibility the container ship's computer system could have been hacked and the ship deliberately steered into the USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, Bill Gertz, the Free Beacon's senior editor wrote.

"A more likely explanation is that collision was the result of an autopilot malfunction, or the autopilot's warning signals, used to notify the ship's operators, were missed."

One official said there is no explanation why the crew of the Fitzgerald did not see the ship coming or why they did not maneuver ways from it, CNN reported.

The ships collided on the Fitzgerald's starboard side directly next to the berthing area where sailors sleep, CNN said.

The collision ripped the Fitzgerald open and water poured in the vessel, according to the news network.

"There are multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations underway to determine the facts of the collision," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

"Our goal is to learn all we can to prevent future accidents from occurring. This process will unfold as quickly as possible, but it's important to get this right."

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A cargo ship was on autopilot when it collided with a U.S. destroyer killing seven Navy sailors, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
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Friday, 23 Jun 2017 10:40 AM
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