A scathing internal Navy probe into the 2017 collision that drowned seven sailors on the guided-missile destroyer Fitzgerald details a far longer list of problems plaguing the vessel, its crew and superior commands than the service has publicly admitted.
Obtained by Navy Times, the “dual-purpose investigation” was overseen by Rear Adm. Brian Fort and completed 11 days after the June 17, 2017 tragedy.
It was kept secret from the public in part because it was designed to prep the Navy for potential lawsuits in the aftermath of the accident.
Unsparingly, Fort and his team of investigators outlined critical lapses by bridge watchstanders on the night of the collision with the Philippine-flagged container vessel ACX Crystal in a bustling maritime corridor off the coast of Japan.
Their report documents the routine, almost casual, violations of standing orders on a Fitz bridge that often lacked skippers and executive officers, even during potentially dangerous voyages at night through busy waterways. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Navy Times website.