Boxship involved in deadly June collision with American destroyer resumes service

The owners of the ACX Crystal, a 2,900 teu boxship involved in a deadly collision with a US Navy destroyer off Japan on June 16, is back in service. The ACX Crystal hit the side of the USS Fitzgerald (pictured) in the early hours on June 16, with seven American sailors dying in the accident.

Dainichi-Invest Corporation, the owners of the boxship, report that the ACX Crystal has been repaired and safety inspection have been passed. The ship left the repair dock on July 22 and departed the next day for Laem Chabang in Thailand to resume service. The ship is on charter to Japan’s Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK).

The USS Fitzgerald, meanwhile, which sustained far more significant damages, will remain under repair in Japan for many more months.

The Philippine master of the ACX Crystal has claimed that the warship did not respond to warning signals or take evasive action. The boxship master reported that his ship had signalled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald “suddenly” steamed on to a course to cross its path.

Multiple investigations are underway, by authorities in Japan, the US and the Philippines.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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