A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship’s captain.
Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.
In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship’s captain said the ACX Crystal had signaled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald “suddenly” steamed on to a course to cross its path.
The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula’s report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reuters.
The U.S. Navy declined to comment and Reuters was not able to independently verify the account, the spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s in Yokosuka, said he was unable to comment on an ongoing investigation, spokesmen from the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), U.S. Coast Guard and ship owner, Dainichi Invest, also declined to comment.