On 1 November the US Navy released a report detailing the events and actions that led to the collision of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on 17 June and the collision of USS John S McCain (DDG 56) and merchant vessel Alnic MC on 21 August this year.
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson said: ‘Both of these accidents were preventable and the respective investigations found multiple failures by watch standers that contributed to the incidents. We must do better.’
The collision between Fitzgerald and Crystal was avoidable and resulted from an accumulation of smaller errors over time, ultimately resulting in a lack of adherence to sound navigational practices.
The collision between John S McCain and Alnic MC was also avoidable and resulted primarily from complacency, over-confidence and lack of procedural compliance.