USS Fitzgerald Captain and Two Senior Officers Relieved of Duties

August 18, 2017 Last Updated: August 18, 2017

The U.S. Navy relieved the commander of the USS Fitzgerald as well as two senior officers of their duties following an investigation into the events that led to the giant crash that killed seven sailors in June off the coast of Japan.

The Navy also praised the actions of the crew following the crash with container ship ACX Crystal that flooded a compartment of the U.S. destroyer where sailors were sleeping, NPR reported.

“It was also evident from this review that the entire Fitzgerald crew demonstrated real toughness that night,” the Navy said in a statement.

Damage to the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald is seen as the vessel is berthed at its mother port in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, on June 18, 2017. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Damage to the guided missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald is berthed at its mother port in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, on June 18, 2017. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

“Following the collision these sailors responded with urgency, determination, and creativity to save their ship,” it added.

The Navy’s final report on the crash blamed inadequate leadership and flawed teamwork for the crash. The report also said that poor seamanship by the crews of both ships led to the deadly disaster.

The ACX Crystal was three times as heavy as the USS Fitzgerald. The container ship punched a giant 13-by-17 foot gash near the destroyer’s keel.

In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) launches a missile from the aft missile deck during Multisail 17 on March 7, 2017 in the Philippine Sea. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William McCann/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) launches a missile from the aft missile deck during Multisail 17 on March 7, 2017, in the Philippine Sea. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William McCann/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

According to the report, several sailors acted heroically as the crew fled a flooding compartment, which flooded completely in under 60 seconds.

After the initial chaos that sent TVs flying and crashing, the sailors lined up neatly in front of a ladder that led out of the flooding compartment. The seamen kept their composure even when they were up to their necks in water.

“Through their swift and in many cases heroic actions, members of the crew saved lives,” the Navy said.

This picture shows damages on the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald off the Shimoda coast after it collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship on June 17, 2017.(STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Damages on the guided missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald off Shimoda coast after it collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship on June 17, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

There were 35 sailors in a compartment named Berthing 2. Of those, 28 escaped, and seven died.

The last sailor to be pulled from Berthing 2 was in the bathroom at the time of the crash. He was knocked on the floor. When the sailor tried to wade toward the only light he saw, floating lockers got in his way, pinning him at one point.

The USS Fitzgeral switched to paper maps since its systems were knocked out by the crash. Due to the damage, the ship’s maximum speed was 5 knots. Divers recovered the bodies once the ship arrived in port.

From NTD.tv