USS Fitzgerald, a US Navy warship which collided with the Philippine-flagged containership ACX Crystal in Japanese waters on June 17, did not respond to warning signals and change the course moments before the incident, Reuters said, referring to a report from the boxship’s captain.
The warship collided with the 39,565 dwt ACX Crystal, operated by NYK Line, some 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, resulting in deaths of seven crew members of USS Fitzgerald.
As explained by Captain Ronald Advincula in a report to Dainichi Investment Corporation that owns the ship, the container vessel’s crew had signaled with flashing lights after the warship was seen on a course to cross its path. Although ACX Crystal allegedly tried to avoid the warship, it subsequently hit USS Fitzgerald, which suffered extensive damage.
However, USS Fitzgerald’s commander reportedly said that there was no alarm before the collision.
Several investigations into the incident are currently underway, including those launched by the US Coast Guard, the Navy and the relevant Japanese authorities.
World Maritime News Staff