US destroyer’s commanders removed

TOKYO: The commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief of a US destroyer are being “relieved of their duties,” the US Navy said late on Thursday, calling the vessel’s deadly June collision with a cargo ship “avoidable.”
“The collision was avoidable and both ships demonstrated poor seamanship,” the Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement.
The 8,315-tonne USS Fitzgerald collided on June 17 with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal, leaving seven US sailors dead.
The collision ripped a 4-metre-by-5-metre hole across the Fitzgerald’s second and third decks, and water quickly flooded in, according to a report released on Thursday by the Navy.
The Crystal’s bow “directly struck” the cabin of the Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, who was “hanging from the side of the ship” when he was rescued by sailors, according to the report.
“The rescue team tied themselves together with a belt in order to create a makeshift harness as they retrieved the CO, who was hanging from the side of the ship,” the report said. — dpa