Collision: US Navy Warship blamed

Frederick Owens
June 27, 2017

The incident report released on Monday by the captain of the Philippine vessel reveals the cargo ship flashed its lights warning the Fitzgerald that it was going to cross its path.

The US Navy declined to comment on investigations. Reuters reported it viewed a copy of Advincula's account but was not able to independently verify it.

The resulting collision created a large gash on the side of the destroyer.

Japanese investigators have interviewed the Filipino crew of the 222-meter (730-foot) cargo ship, while US authorities are also probing the incident.

The container ship has left Yokohama, where it was investigated by Japanese authorities, for repairs of its damaged bow at an unspecified shipyard in Japan, its owner, Dainichi-Invest Corp., said.

Another focus of the probes has been the length of time it took the ACX Crystal to report the collision. Japan's Coast Guard stated it was notified about the crash by Crystal at 2:25 a.m. -almost an hour after the crash.

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Captain Advincula stated in the report that there was confusion on his ship's bridge and that it only turned around and returned to the crash site after having continued on its course for another 7 miles.

The facility in Yokosuka is the home port of the destroyer USS Fitzgerald, which crashed with a cargo ship in a busy shipping channel off Japan's coast.

Before the ceremony, more than 2,000 people including members of the U.S. Navy and Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force lined the streets inside the base waving flags and saluting the crew and their relatives, the navy said in a statement.

The others killed were Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Va.; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Conn.; Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Md.; and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio.

Two of three injured crew members who were evacuated from the ship by helicopter, including the ship's commanding officer, Commander Bryce Benson, were released from the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka.

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