Japan Panel Blames U.S. Aegis Ship for 2017 Deadly Collision


Tokyo, Aug. 29 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Transport Safety Board on Thursday blamed a U.S. Aegis destroyer's poor watch-keeping for its deadly collision with a Philippine-flagged container vessel off the central prefecture of Shizuoka in June 2017.

In an investigation report, the government panel also said the 29,060-ton container vessel ACX Crystal was slow to maneuver to avert the collision, which occurred before dawn June 17, 2017, killing seven crew members of the 8,261-ton USS Fitzgerald.

Given their relative positions ahead of the crash, the U.S. destroyer had the responsibility of avoiding a collision, through such actions as a course change and speed reduction, according to the report.

Due to inadequate radar adjustment, the Aegis destroyer was unable to capture the container ship on its radar screen at the time.

Furthermore, the warship's watch officer was focusing on a third ship in nearby waters, and advice from a different officer who mentioned the risk of colliding with the container vessel and proposed decelerating was neglected, the report said.

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Jiji Press