#1 Sub Head:- Seven U.S. Navy Sailors die: she gets a Slapped Wrist.
#2 Sub-head:- The C.O. will probably be either fired, or given time in the brig, (Because he is the Captain, and he is supposed to know how well his subordinate officers will respond under pressure; and he carries the Can!)
Destroyer U.S.S. Fitzgerald; Commanding Officer’s standing orders for Duty Watch Officer:-
- ‘Call the Commanding Officer whenever a marine contact comes within 6,000 yards of my ship’
Lieutenant J.G. Sarah Coppock viewed thirteen vessels being within 6,000 yards of her own ship, FAILED to advise the C.O. once; thus violating Standing Orders.
- Immediately after calling the C.O., confirm sightings with the Combat Information Centre.
Lieutenant Coppock failed to advise the C.I.C. of ANY sightings, thus violating Standing Orders.
- If the main radar system is not working correctly, call any senior officer, alert the Commanding Officer.
- Lieutenant Coppock failed to advise the C.O., or the C.I.C. of ANY sightings, thus violating Standing Orders.
- When aware of an imminent COLLISION with a vastly bigger vessel, alert all crew, sound all alarms, take avoiding action if possible.
- Lieutenant J.G. Sarah Coppock did absolutely nothing at all.
Seven men died. They were :-
Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Va.
Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego
Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Conn.
Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, Calif.
Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Md.
Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio
“ Not a day goes by where I haven’t thought about what I could have done differently” she said in the Court Martial hearing at the Navy Yard. “There is nothing I can do now but take responsibility.”
She was sentenced to a LETTER of REPRIMAND, and forfeiture of half-pay for three months. AS A PUNISHMENT FOR HAZARDING HER SHIP, AND FOR THE DEATHS OF SEVEN SLEEPING SAILORS!