Navy investigation indicates USS Fitzgerald at fault for fatal collision with container ship

Navy investigation indicates USS Fitzgerald at fault for fatal collision with container ship
Damage to USS Fitzgerald from collision at sea, 17 Jun 2017. (Image: USN, Yokosuka, JA; MC1 Peter Burghart)

[Ed – This case, analyzed at some length here, remains extraordinary.  If what we’re hearing from the Navy is conclusive and accurate, the failure of the Fitzgerald’s crew was on an unbelievably massive scale.  It’s alarming to an epic degree, to think of a Navy ship being handled with such a complete lack of professionalism and discipline.   “Abysmal mistakes” doesn’t begin to cover it.  Something seems a bit “off” here, in truth, but there’s little point in speculating given the dearth of information.]

According to two defense officials who spoke with CNN, the crew aboard the USS Fitzgerald made numerous abysmal mistakes which led to the collision with the ACX Crystal in an area known for commercial shipping.

The investigation is likely to result in recommendations for possible punishment, making the review “dual purpose.”

“They did nothing until the last second,” one official said, speaking of the crew on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. “A slew of things went wrong.”

The second official stated that the crash “will wind up being our fault.”

Initial findings suggest that the Fitzgerald crew not only did not acknowledge the ship was approaching, but sailors also failed to perform their duties in order to stop the impact, which left a large gash in the side of the destroyer measuring about 12-feet-by-17-feet.

The collision on June 17, which occurred off the coast of Japan, resulted in the deaths of seven U.S. Navy sailors.

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