7 Navy Sailors Missing When USS Fitzgerald Was Struck By Cargo Ship ACX Crystal Off Japan: How Could U.S. Destroyer Radar Operator Not See Immense Cargo Ship Heading Towards It?

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7 Navy Sailors Missing When USS Fitzgerald Was Struck By Cargo Ship ACX Crystal Off Japan: How Could U.S. Destroyer Radar Operator Not See Immense Cargo Ship Heading Towards It?

By Dave Levine

The Pentagon isn’t talking. But it is pretty obvious that negligence on the part of the USS Fitzgerald caused the deaths of 7 American sailors.

The biggest questions that are begging to be answered: How could the Fitzgerald’s radar man not see such a huge vessel on its scope? That ship is nearly 4 times the size of the destroyer! Was the radar operator sleeping on the job? Was he in the can without a replacement taking his place? And what about the ACX Crystal’s captain or whoever was steering that ship at the time? Didn’t they have radar?

My guess is that one or more persons on the Fitzgerald were asleep-at-the-wheel or asleep at their posts.

What is amazing to me is how in this day and age with the high tech an American destroyer has that an immense ship like the ACX Crystal–a sluggish, slow vessel–could get close enough to ram a speedy destroyer.

Will heads roll because of this horrible accident that should never have happened? I sure hope so. I hope careers are ended and shame is fixed on those responsible.

AP reporters Eugene Hoshiko and Koji Ueda posted this story.