USS John S. McCain made ‘sudden turn’ before crash that killed Suffield sailor
PULAU UJONG, Singapore — A ‘sudden turn’ by the American warship USS John S. McCain led to a collision with a tanker last year off Singapore that left 10 sailors dead, a report by the city-state’s government said Thursday according to the Daily Mail.
One of the sailors killed was Suffield native, 26-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, from Suffield.
Singapore’s transport ministry, releasing the results of its investigation into the incident, said a ‘series of missteps’ by the destroyer’s crew and insufficient action by those of the tanker, the Alnic MC, contributed to the accident.
The vessels smashed into each other in the predawn hours of August 21, 2017 in the busy shipping lanes around the Strait of Malacca. There were no casualties among the tanker’s crew.
The commander of the John S. McCain is facing charges including negligent homicide and dereliction of duty, the US Navy said in January, after its own investigation into the incident found ‘multiple failures’ by the ship’s crew.
Singapore said its 35-page report did not blame any organization or individual for the fatal crash, but found the warship made an abrupt turn after a transfer of controls caused confusion among the crew.
‘The collision… happened because of a sudden turn to port (left) by JSM (John S. McCain), which caused it to head into the path of the (tanker),’ the report said.
It also noted that several sailors on watch at the John S. McCain during the collision had been assigned from another warship with steering control systems that were ‘significantly different’.
The incident came after another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, smashed into a Philippine-flagged cargo ship off Japan in June 2017, leaving seven sailors dead, including Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, was from Oakville.