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Singapore

‘Series of missteps’ led to sudden turn that caused deadly crash between US warship and tanker, Singapore says

But investigators insisted the findings were not meant to point blame for the accident last August, which killed 10 sailors

But investigators insisted the findings were not meant to point blame for the accident last August, which killed 10 sailors

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 March, 2018, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 March, 2018, 9:39pm

A US guided missile destroyer’s deadly collision with an oil tanker near Singapore in 2017 was caused by “a sudden turn” made by the warship that put it in the path of the commercial vessel, said a report by the Singapore government on Thursday.

The collision on August 21, which killed 10 sailors and was one of a handful of incidents in the Asia-Pacific region involving US Navy warships, raised questions about Navy training and led to the removal of a number of officers.

“The collision between the USS John S McCain (JSM) and Alnic MC (AM) as they were transiting through the Singapore Strait happened because of a sudden turn to Port by JSM, which caused it to head into the path of AM,” the report said.

Bodies of all 10 sailors missing on USS John S. McCain found inside crippled destroyer

The sudden turn was because of “a series of missteps” that took place at the control of the JSM that unintentionally increased the rate of the vessel’s turn, the report by the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau said.

The agency is the air and marine accident investigative arm of the Singapore government. It said its report “should not be used to assign blame or determine liability”.

The John S McCain’s sister ship, guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald, almost sank off the coast of Japan in June last year after colliding with a Philippine container ship. The bodies of seven US sailors were recovered after that incident.

The US Navy subsequently announced a series of systemic reforms aimed at restoring basic naval skills and alertness at sea after a review of deadly ship collisions in the Asia-Pacific showed sailors were under-trained and overworked.