Navy drops negligent homicide charge against former CO of USS John McCain

The US Navy has dropped charges of negligent homicide against the former commanding officer of the destroyer USS John McCain over its 10-death fatal collision with an oil tanker off Singapore last August.

It was not revealed why the Navy decided to lift the charge.

Commander Alfredo Sanchez was on the bridge at the time the McCain hit the Alnic MC but a Navy investigation found watchstanders’ errors mainly to blame for the incident. The ten dead were all Navy sailors.

Sanchez still faces a charge of dereliction of duty and the court martial for that begins on Friday.

The McCain collision was the second of two involving Seventh Fleet destroyers hitting commercial vessels last year.

In June the USS Fitzgerald hit the container ship ACX Crystal off Japan with the loss of seven sailors on the Navy vessel.

The CO of then Fitzgerald, Bryce Benson still faces negligent homicide charge.

Earlier this month Lieutenant junior grade Sarah Coppock, who was the officer on the deck in charge of navigating the Fitzgerald, pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty.

She was sentenced to a letter of reprimand and the forfeiture of half her pay for three months.

Coppock also agreed to waive her right to a board that would weigh whether she should be kicked out of the Navy.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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