Lt. J.G. Sarah Coppock Takes the Fall for the US Navy on the Attack on the USS Fitzgerald
Source: This Ain’t Hell
Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock pleaded guilty on Fitzgerald collision
Jonn Lilyea | May 8, 2018 | 100 Comments
The Stars & Stripes reports that Lieutenant Junior Grade Sarah Coppock pleaded guilty to the charge of dereliction of duty in her role that caused the collision of the USS Fitzgerald with a civilian commercial vessel, ACX Crystal, on June 17, 2017 off the Japanese coast;
The Fitzgerald‘s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was not on deck at the time of the collision. Coppock was charged for failing to “communicate and coordinate with the Combat Information Center, report ship specified contacts to the commanding officer, operate safely in a high density traffic condition and alert crew of imminent collision,” according to the charge sheet.
Coppock was charged along with two unnamed junior officers on board the Fitzgerald.
The Fitzgerald was navigating out to sea near Yokosuka Port in Japan when it failed to recognize the dangers of three ships heading across its path.
They were close enough to present risk of collision, according to a U.S. Navy report. Two of the ships maneuvered to avoid a collision — one coming particularly close. The report said Coppock was responsible to alert the commanding officer after that close call. The third, called the ACX Crystal, did not.