|Damaged USS Fitzgerald (Click Image to Enlarge)|
American defense officials said Friday that initial findings indicate that the destroyer USS Fitzgerald was likely at fault in her collision with the container ship ACX Crystal on June 17.
Seven died and three were injured in the accident, and the Crystal’sbulbous bow tore a hole measuring 12 by 17 feet in Fitzgerald’shull. Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said that only the skillful damage control efforts of the Fitzgerald’s crew saved the ship from sinking.
The Navy, the Coast Guard, the Japan Coast Guard and the flag administration of the Philippines all have active investigations running into the circumstances of the collision. The Navy is pursuing two parallel inquiries – a fact-finding mission and a separate legal investigation aimed at determining responsibility for the accident.
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