New Report Details Ship Collision That Killed Two San Diego Sailors

18 Août, 2017, 05:25 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • The US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship on June 17 in the Sea of Japan resulting in the death of seven American sailors

The U.S. Navy will relieve the two top USS Fitzgerald officers of their duties in the wake of the destroyer's fatal collision this summer with a Philippine cargo ship off the coast of Japan.

Because the investigation is ongoing, he could not say if the Fitzgerald was "solely responsible" for the collision with the ACX Crystal.

Jolted awake by the crash, sailors rushed to check on their shipmates, taking actions that investigating officer Rear Adm. C.F. Williams determined likely saved the lives of at least two sailors. Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Douglass of San Diego, and Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan of Chula Vista were among the victims. Bryce Benson, after five junior crew members used sledgehammers to knock in the blocked door.

Admiral William Moran said the Navy will remove the commanding officer, executive officer and the command master chief from duty aboard the Fitzgerald, according to the Associated Press.

Moran said about another nine sailors would face administrative punishments, and he left open the possibility of further action.

The Navy's investigation into the crash about 64 miles southwest of Yokosuka Naval Base is continuing and the service has yet to determine whether the cargo ship was also at fault, he said.

"We've lost trust and confidence in their ability to lead", Admiral Bill Moran, deputy chief of naval operations, told reporters on Thursday.

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Aucoin acted swiftly because the investigation indicated serious mistakes were made by the crew, Moran said.

"Water on deck", sailors in a berthing started yelling.

According to the report, "no damage control efforts ... would have prevented Berthing 2 from flooding completely within the first two minutes following the collision, or the deadly circumstances in that situation".

On Thursday, the Navy released a preliminary report on the June 17 collision between the Fitzgerald and the freighter ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan. "The rescue team tied themselves together with a belt in order to create a makeshift harness as they retrieved the [commanding officer], who was hanging from the side of the ship".

Berthing 2 held 42 beds in stacks of three bunks, a bathroom, and a lounge area. Sailors staying in that area estimate the space flooded within 30 to 60 seconds. The Fitzgerald sailed into the path of the much larger container ship in the middle of the night, suffering heavy damage.

Twenty-eight survived, while seven others drowned.

The report confirms one sailor said Rehm pushed him out from under a falling locker. As dazed sailors clamored through water that was nearly immediately waist deep, they were forced to navigate heavy floating debris to reach a ladder.

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