Investigations continue into cause of USS Fitzgerald collision with Japanese merchant ship

TOKYO (KUSI) — Investigations continued Monday into the cause of the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Japanese merchant ship, that killed seven U.S. crew members.

According to TIME, the captain of the Philippine cargo ship — Ronald Advincula — said their vessel sent warning signals to the USS Fitzgerald, but the ship continued into their path.

Advincula said their vessel attempted to avoid the USS Fitzgerald, but were unsuccessful and collided with the warship at 1:30 a.m. 

Rear Adm. Brian Fort was ordered Friday to lead the Navy’s main investigation of the incident. He is working with the U.S. Coast Guard and Japanese naval and maritime authorities to determine the cause. 

An official close to the investigation told CNN that early assessments are suggesting the USS Fitzgerald might have been running on some kind of autopilot system at the time of the collision.

But, the official added, that doesn’t explain how the crew members of the Fitzgerald didn’t see the oncoming merchant ship. 

CNN reports that to help the investigation, radar data will be downloaded from the ship’s Aegis weapons system — similar to an airplane’s black box — which records details on position, course, speed and any nearby ships or aircraft. 

Related Links

Seven sailors killed in USS Fitzgerald crash identified, two from San Diego

7 Navy sailors killed aboard USS Fitzgerald flown back to US, flags ordered to fly at half-staff

Categories: Local San Diego News