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This Year’s Two Deadly U.S. Warship Collisions Were ‘Avoidable,’ According To Navy Officials

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Over the summer, two naval vessels, the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John McCain, were involved in separate collisions with merchant ships in the Pacific Ocean that resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors. The Navy has already fired two officers over the incidents but now concludes an investigation while declaring the collisions to be “avoidable.” Via the New York Times:

In the case of the Fitzgerald, the Navy determined in its latest reports that the crew and leadership on board failed to plan for safety, to adhere to sound navigation practices, to carry out basic watch practices, to properly use available navigation tools, and to respond effectively in a crisis. 

In the case of the John S. McCain, the investigation concluded that the collision resulted from “a loss of situational awareness” while responding to mistakes in the operation of the ship’s steering and propulsion system while in highly trafficked waters.

The report declared that the crews were unprepared due to poor training in addition to inadequate judgment by officers in command.

Prior to the report’s publication, the Navy had already taken new steps in an effort to prevent similar incidents. Crews were ordered to get more sleep, work fewer hours, and broadcast their positions to other vessels while navigating through waters near major ports. Following the second collision, the Navy paused operations of its Pacific fleet for further training as well as crew and ship inspections.

(Via New York Times)

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