USS Fitzgerald's captain, senior lieutenants sacked after collision kills 7

  August 21--THE US Navy has relieved the USS Fitzgerald's captain, Commander commander, Bryce Benson, and two of his lieutenantsof their duties, blaming them for inadequate leadership that resulted the death of seven seamen in a collision with a containership two months ago.

  The naval inquiry also blamed poor seamanship by the crews of both the guided-missile destroyer and the 2,858-TEU ACX Crystal, that was triple the size of warship it struck a glancing blow off its port bow in the sealanes approaching Yokohama at 2am Saturday June 17.

  "It was also evident from this review that the entire Fitzgerald crew demonstrated real toughness that night," the navy said, reported NPR News. "Following the collision these sailors responded with urgency, determination and creativity to save their ship."

  Initial investigations revealed that the USS Fitzgerald's bridge team failed to act moments before the Crystal hit warship. "They did nothing until the last second," one US official said. "A slew of things went wrong." A second official said the crash "will wind up being our fault".

  A preliminary inquiry into the accident said that USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine cargo ship said the accident was caused by multiple errors by the Fitzgerald's crew, according to two defence officials.


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