SINGAPORE, "A sudden turn" by USS John S. McCain triggered its deadly collision with an oil tanker in the eastern waters of Singapore last year, an investigative report said Thursday.
The U.S. guided-missile destroyer and the Liberia-registered oil tanker Alnic MC ran into each other on Aug. 21, 2017, killing 10 American sailors and wounding five others.
At the time when the incident occurred, the U.S. warship made a sudden turn, causing it to "head into the path" of the oil tanker, said the report released by the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau of the Singapore Transport Ministry.
The action by the U.S. vessel was due to "a series of missteps that took place after a transfer of propulsion controls," which led to a confusion as to which station had steering control, and an unintentional reduction of the port engine throttle which increased the rate of the vessel's turn to port, the report added.
The crew did not recognize the processes involved in the transfer of propulsion and steering control, the report said.
They were "likely to have lacked the requisite knowledge of the steering control system due to inadequacies in training and familiarization," the report noted.
Several sailors on watch during the collision with control over steering were temporarily assigned from another U.S. naval vessel which had steering control systems that were "significantly different" from the McCain, the report said.
The crew on the oil tanker had presumed that the U.S. warship would pass by safely and the actions they took were insufficient to avoid the collision, as it happened within three minutes of McCain's turning to port, said the report.
Source: NAM News Network