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Adm. John Richardson: USS Fitzgerald, USS John S. McCain Collisions Were ‘Preventable’

John Richardson

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson has said the collision of an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer with a merchant vessel in August and another collision incident involving another U.S. destroyer ship two months prior were both “preventable,” the Navy reported Wednesday.

“Both of these accidents were preventable and the respective investigations found multiple failures by watch standers that contributed to the incidents,” Richardson said.

His remarks coincided with the U.S. Navy’s release of a report Wednesday that aims to shed light on collisions involving the two U.S. destroyers.

The USS Fitzgerald destroyer’s collision with the ACX Crystal container ship off the coast of Japan in June was avoidable and occurred due to the build-up of small errors that led to inability to adhere to “sound navigational practices,” according to the report.

The service branch also associated the incident with the absence of the ship’s triad and watch teams’ failure to comply with fundamental contact management norms.

The report also attributed the USS John S. McCain destroyer’s collision with the Alnic MC merchant vessel in August to complacency and lack of procedural compliance.

The Navy also cited the crew’s insufficient knowledge of the ship control console’s operation as a primary contributing factor to the incident.

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