Navy's top admiral says USS Fitzgerald probe continues

We're talking about the USS Fitzgerald crash that claimed the lives of seven sailors. Admiral John Richardson told our Mike Gooding, it's too early to talk about the probe, but when the time comes, the Navy will be 'transparent.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- CNN and Reuters, citing anonymous sources, reported Friday that the USS Fitzgerald was at fault, in the deadly June 17 collision with a cargo ship.

The sources said that a loss of situational awareness was a primary factor in the accident.

The Navy, officially for the record, declined to go that far, in a statement saying:

"It is premature to speculate on causation or any other issues."

The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, was equally cautious about the subject when asked about it Saturday, at the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford.

"I'll tell you what, I will commit, when we're done, we're going to come out and be completely open," he said.

The sources faulted the Fitzgerald crew, reportedly saying, "They did nothing until the last second,. A slew of things went wrong."

Former destroyer commanding officer Joe Bouchard was also critical of the Fitzgerald team's performance, when 13News Now spoke to him earlier this month.

"It mystifies me why they weren't able to avoid collision," he said."Their lookouts should've seen it, large merchant ship. Merchant ships tend to have lights all over them, very large radar signature, and the Fitzgerald is much more maneuverable."

ABC News reported Monday that Japanese authorities are almost finished with their investigation into the collision, but Japan still hasn't been given access to data from the U.S. side.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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