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Investigation Reveals Navy At Fault For Massive USS Fitzgerald Collision

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A preliminary investigation into the collision of the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine cargo ship in June has revealed that the U.S. Navy is at fault.

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.

The findings up to this point will be sent to 7th Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin for review.

Aucoin has already stated the day after the collision that the damage to the Fitzgerald is incredible.

“The ship suffered severe damage rapidly flooding three large compartments that included one machine room and two berthing areas for 116 crew, ” Aucoin said. “The commanding officer’s cabin was also directly hit, trapping the CO inside.”

Tens of millions of dollars of electrical equipment was also destroyed.

The Fitzgerald has undergone extensive repairs since the incident, but will have to return to a U.S. shipyard for full repairs. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift is looking for a ship to take over the work of the Fitzgerald in the meantime.

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