US Navy sacks two officers for fatal ship collision


In August, the USS John McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore, which resulted in the deaths of 10 usa sailors and injuries of five others.

Following August's crash, Navy leaders told the Senate Armed Services Committee-including John McCain himself-that exhaustion may have played a role in the incidents, as sailors routinely work 100 hours a week.

"While the investigation is ongoing, it is evident the collision was preventable, the commanding officer exercised poor judgement, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship's training program", the statement added.

The ship's commanding officer, Commander Alfredo Sanchez, and executive officer, Commander Jessie Sanchez, were relieved of duty by the Seventh Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer, due to "a loss of confidence", according to a statement from the U.S. Navy.

Both officers were reassigned to shore duty, with the former captain moving to the fleet headquarters and the former executive officer assuming duties at the Ship Repair Facility, both located in Yokosuka, Japan.

Collisions involving USA naval vessels are relatively uncommon, but there have been four over the past year or so.

In June, the Fitzgerald nearly sank off the coast of Japan after colliding with a Philippine container ship, which claimed the lives of seven USA sailors.

And in late January, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, damaging its propellers.

Following the collisions, Navy officials removed Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin as head of the Seventh Fleet and relieved several other senior officers from their duties as part of a purge in the fleet's leadership. Following in May, a South Korean fishing vehicle collided with a guided-missile cruiser, Lake Champlain.

US Government Accountability Office data obtained by CNN in September found that both the McCain and Fitzgerald had lengthy records of failing to fulfill key training requirements.

The bodies of seven USA sailors were found in a flooded berthing area after that collision.