Offbeat USS Fitzgerald officer pleads guilty in collision that killed 7 sailors

16:26  09 may  2018
16:26  09 may  2018 Source:   foxnews.com

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Last June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship while transiting busy sea lanes outside The resulting flooding killed seven sailors in a berthing compartment as they slept. The junior officer plead guilty to dereliction of duty and was awarded an official reprimand that ended his career.

In this June 18, 2017, file photo, damaged USS Fitzgerald is docked at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after colliding with Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal off Japan. The Navy said the commanding officer of a warship that lost seven sailors in the collision

a large ship in the background: The damaged USS Fitzgerald is docked at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, Japan this past June after colliding with a commercial ship. Seven sailors drowned when the ship took on water. © Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The damaged USS Fitzgerald is docked at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, Japan this past June after colliding with a commercial ship. Seven sailors drowned when the ship took on water.

A junior officer on the destroyer USS Fitzgerald has pleaded guilty to a dereliction of duty charge in connection with a collision that killed seven sailors last year, the Navy announced Tuesday. 

Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock will forfeit a half-month’s pay for three months and receive a punitive letter as punishment, according to a Navy statement.

“Our Sailors personify honor, courage, and commitment,” the statement read, in part. “The Navy will not accept complacency, negligence, or other behaviors contrary to its core values.”

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The collision between the Fitzgerald and the ACX Crystal on June 17 claimed the lives of seven US sailors . It’s also not clear if the crew ever called the commanding officer to come to the bridge. The officials say investigators are also looking at the possibility that the ship was traveling at a higher

The commander the USS Fitzgerald was relieved from command as punishment for a collision with a container ship off Japan that killed seven sailors T&P on Facebook. The commander and executive officer of a U.S. Navy destroyer were relieved from command as punishment for a collision with a

According to the Navy Times, Coppock was serving as officer at the deck at the time the Fitzgerald struck a commercial ship off the coast of Japan early on the morning of June 17. She was accused of failing to follow the commanding officer’s standing orders and international navigation rules. 

In August, the Navy announced that the Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, would be removed from duty, along with the ship’s second-in-command and the top senior enlisted sailor.

NAVY FAULTS US WARSHIPS IN SUMMER PACIFIC COLLISIONS THAT KILLED 17 SAILORS

A Navy report released in November found that the Fitzgerald was at fault for the collision. 

“In the 30 minutes leading up to the collision, neither Fitzgerald nor [the commercial ship] Crystal took such action to reduce the risk of collision until approximately one minute prior to the collision,” the report said.

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USS Fitzgerald Involved in Collision . On Tuesday [June 20], MCPON (Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy) and I visited Japan where we attended the outbound dignified transfer of our seven fallen shipmates and spent time with [ USS ] Fitzgerald Sailors and families.

The commander of the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the executive officer face non-judicial punishment over the deadly collision . Stories of Fitzgerald Sailors Killed in Destroyer-Container Ship Crash. USS Fitzgerald Will Be 4 Plead Guilty in Coast Guard Drug Seizure Near Galapagos.

The report added that Fitzgerald’s officer of the deck, now identified as Coppock, “intended to take no action” in the minutes leading up to the collision until realizing it was “too late.”

“The Officer of the Deck, the person responsible for safe navigation of the ship, exhibited poor seamanship by failing to maneuver as required, failing to sound the danger signal and failing to attempt to contact CRYSTAL on Bridge to Bridge radio. In addition, the Officer of the Deck did not call the Commanding Officer as appropriate and prescribed by Navy procedures to allow him to exercise more senior oversight and judgment of the situation,” the report said.

A Navy spokesman declined to tell the Navy Times whether Coppock would be discharged from service, telling the publication: “As of right now, she remains on active duty.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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