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Navy: Destroyer Crashes Were Preventable

Image: Navy:  Destroyer Crashes Were Preventable
The guided missile destroyer Fitzgerald almost sank off the coast of Japan after colliding with a Philippine container ship on June 17. The bodies of seven U.S. sailors were found in a flooded berthing area after that collision. (AP)

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 10:09 AM

Two crashes in the Asia Pacific region involving U.S. Navy destroyers and commercial vessels earlier this year were avoidable and caused by a number of preventable errors by the sailors on board the ships, according to the results of Navy investigations released on Wednesday.

"Both of these accidents were preventable and the respective investigations found multiple failures by watch standers that contributed to the incidents," Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said.

The guided missile destroyer Fitzgerald almost sank off the coast of Japan after colliding with a Philippine container ship on June 17. The bodies of seven U.S. sailors were found in a flooded berthing area after that collision.

The Navy report found that there were a number of small errors that eventually lead to the ship's crew not following standard naval procedures.

"Specifically, Fitzgerald's watch teams disregarded established norms of basic contact management and, more importantly, leadership failed to adhere to well-established protocols put in place to prevent collisions," the report said.

In a separate incident in August, 10 sailors were killed when the guided missile destroyer John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker.

The incident was caused by "complacency, over-confidence and lack of procedural compliance," the report said.

It found that a major factor in the collision was the sailors not having enough of an understanding about the ship's control console.

The Navy has dismissed a number of officers, including the commander of the Seventh Fleet, as a result of the collisions involving its warships in Asia. 

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Two crashes in the Asia Pacific region involving U.S. Navy destroyers and commercial vessels earlier this year were avoidable and caused by a number of preventable errors by the sailors on board the ships, according to the results of Navy investigations released on Wednesday.
us navy, destroyer crashes, navy investigations
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2017-09-01
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 10:09 AM
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