The USS Fitzgerald is a State of the Art modern warship of the U.S. Navy. The warship, a destroyer is equipped with the latest NAV and Radar equipment. Despite this advanced equipment, the destroyer collided with a container ship about 56 nautical miles off the Japanese coast. This was on 15 June at 02:30 a.m.The heavier container ship suffered little damage but the destroyer suffered substantial damage. Even worse, seven sailors were killed in the twisted hull. The commanding officer and one other sailor were injured and had to be flown by helicopter to a hospital.

The accident has brought forward serious questions about training and professionalism of Navy personnel. The news of the collision was reported by CNN International.

7th Fleet and Sea of Japan

The Sea Of Japan is one of the busiest oceans in the world. It is also the home of the 7th fleet. This fleet faces China and North Korea and its importance is immense. The destroyer was part of the 7th fleet and was on a routine training exercise. At 02:30 a.m the destroyer collided with a container ship of 30,000 tonnage. This is almost four times the tonnage displaced by the destroyer. The destroyer suffered severe damage but could make it to the port for repairs. It will be few months before the ship is seaworthy again.

This will lower the strike capability of the fleet and is a matter of alarm.


The Navy has ordered an inquiry but this is a routine exercise. Such boards of inquiry are held in all cases. Alarming news is that this is not the only mishap regarding the loss of sailors on duty. Two other seamen were probably washed into the Sea in the Sea of Japan and the Caribbean.

Their bodies have not been found. In another case, a sea Hornet coming to land on an aircraft carrier failed to land and ditched into the Sea. The pilot was saved.

The loss of so many sailors on routine peacetime exercises points to a lacuna in training and procedures. The Navy will have to pull up its socks to get to the bottom of such incidents.

The American navy fought a great battle in World War II when it bested the Imperial fleet. The victory over Japan in the Pacific War was entirely due to the effort of the U.S. Navy. However, 70 years have elapsed and the present loss of seamen during routine training missions is not acceptable.

Last word

The USS Fitzgerald is now in dry dock. The memory of seven sailors lost will haunt the Navy for years. It was an avoidable mishap. There is a possibility that despite all the latest NAV equipment on board the crew lacked discipline. This needs investigation.