US Navy: Poor Seamanship Caused Deadly ACX Crystal-USS Fitzgerald Collision

Image Courtesy: US Navy/ MC1 Peter Burghart

The collision between the Philippine-flagged containership ACX Crystal, operated by Japan’s NYK Line, and the US Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald was avoidable as both ships demonstrated poor seamanship, the navy said following a probe into the fatal incident from June 17.

“Within Fitzgerald, flawed watch stander teamwork and inadequate leadership contributed to the collision that claimed the lives of seven Fitzgerald sailors, injured three more, and damaged both ships,” the navy added.

In line with the investigation findings, the commanding officer of the missile destroyer Cmdr. Bryce Benson was relieved of duty “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead”. He had previously been temporarily relieved of his duties due to medical reasons from injuries sustained during the collision.

In addition, the warship’s executive officer, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt, and command master chief, Master Chief Petty Officer Brice Baldwin, have also been relieved of their duties as their “inadequate leadership…contributed to the lack of watch stander preparedness and readiness that was evident in the events leading up to the collision. ”  

The navy added that several junior officers were relieved of their duties as well due to poor seamanship and flawed teamwork as bridge and combat information center watch standers.

Additional administrative actions were taken against members of both watch teams.

The US Navy’s severely damaged guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald is to be moved back to the US for repairs, once the tender to hire a heavy-lift vessel which would transport the warship to a dockyard in the vicinity of either Pascagoula, Mississippi or Portland, Maine is awarded.

The damaged ship could start its voyage to the US in mid-September or early November.

In the collision with NYK Line-operated boxship some 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, the destroyer suffered flooding and extensive damage, including a significant impact under its pilothouse on the starboard side and a large puncture below the ship’s waterline.

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Nov 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3

Maritime Information Warfare 2017

Maritime Information Warfare will focus on the growing need for navies to develop their information exploitation capabilities…

read more >

INTERNATIONAL GREEN SHIPPING AND TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT

The Summit will gather key marine experts and companies around the globe which have a big influence in the industry…

read more >

The CWC 18th Annual World LNG Summit & Awards Evening

The CWC World LNG Summit will continue to give you access to premium networking opportunities as it brings together the who’s who…

read more >

Marintec China 2017

The largest maritime event in Asia Pacific, Marintec China connects maritime professionals from the entire shipbuilding supply chain together.

Over the years, Marintec China has grown to reflect the size and importance of the Asian maritime market. 2015 event is another record-breaking edition with the largest exhibition area and the highest number of industry professionals attending ever. The encouraging figures proven that China remains one of the major shipbuilding nations and Marintec China has been the most authoritative platform in Asia.

With the maritime industry facing great opportunities but also many challenges, it is important for the industry to connect and engage more to ultimately win new business in globally-significant markets. A visit to Marintec China is a great way to learn about the latest technology and innovation of the supply industry, a platform for industry professional to meet face to face, make connection and do business.

Marintec China is poised to be the definitive event and is undoubtedly a must-attend for all involved in the maritime industry.

Marintec China will be held from 5 to 8 December 2017 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Shanghai, China and continue its dedication to serve as the “LEADING” platform “CONNECTING” the community and “STRENGTHENING” the maritime industry.

Marintec China offers the perfect opportunity for companies serving the maritime market to showcase their innovations, products and services to a wide audience. A platform for face to face meetings in business, creating new relationships and consolidating existing ones.

More info

read more >