The captain of the ACX Crystal, the cargo ship that collided with the USS Fitzgerald, claims the US destroyer failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive actions. The collision occurred south of Tokyo Bay in the early morning hours of June 17 under clear conditions. In the account to investigators the cargo ship’s captain said the ACX Crystal signaled to the USS Fitzgerald after it had changed to a course that would cause a collision. The cargo ship tried to steer away from the warship but collided with it 10 minutes later.
The US Navy was unable to comment on the ongoing investigation. The investigation will focus on how the destroyer, which has sophisticated radar, could be struck by a ship thrice its size. Another focus of the investigation will look at the extended period of time it took the ACX Crystal to report the accident. The ACX Crystal did not report the collision for nearly an hour after it occurred. The captain said there was confusion on the ship’s bridge and the ACX Crystal sailed 6 nautical miles before turning around and returning to the collision site. The U-turn is corroborated by shipping data.