Navy relieves two officers of duty following deadly USS McCain crash


"While the investigation is ongoing, it is evident the collision was preventable, the commanding officer exercised poor judgement, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ships training program", the statement read. The USS Fitzgerald slammed into a Japanese merchant ship in June resulting in seven sailors deaths, and the McCain struck a 30,000-ton tanker in August, killing 10 and injuring five. The accident left a large highly visible hole in the U.S. ship.

Both officers were relocated to other positions.

The McCain accident was the fourth involving a USA warship in the Pacific this year.

The USS McCain collided with an oil tanker on August 21 near Singapore, leaving 10 sailors dead.

And in late January, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, damaging its propellers.

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The Navy fired the commander of the Japan-based 7th Fleet shortly after the McCain's crash.

In September, Navy leaders acknowledged several unsettling truths about the service's unsafe deployment pace and the role physical exhaustion - some sailors routinely endure 100-hour workweeks, they said - may have played in the two deadly collisions. A comprehensive review of safety and operational standards will probably be completed next month.

The deadly collisions also triggered a Navy-wide review of ship operations ordered by Admiral John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations.

"When I hear about problems like persistent lack of sleep, consistently long work hours in port, problems in basic watchstanding, and more, it's clear to me that much of the fix is with our junior leaders", he said.

The McCain was loaded onto a heavy lift transport ship off Singapore last weekend and is being taken to Yokosuka for repairs, the Navy said.