U.S Navy Ship Ran Aground After Captain Left the Bridge & Went For Dinner, Investigation Finds

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Diffie

An investigation into a US Navy vessel grounding accident has revealed that carelessness, improper protocol implementation, and a lack of situational awareness among the vessel’s crew members, especially the Captain, caused the accident.

Military Sealift Command Vessel Alan Shepard ran aground close to Bahrain in 2023, within 20 minutes of its Captain, Navigator, and Chief Mate going for dinner, leaving a Junior Third Officer in charge.

The incident happened when the vessel was going for repair and maintenance ahead of its sea trials. The Junior Officer turned the ship to avoid collision with a fishing vessel when it hit a shoal and ran aground close to Khalifa Bin Salman Port on July 15, last year.

The report added that the Junior officer was unaware of the shallow waters and the shoal as he turned the vessel. It also emphasised the Captain’s failure to be on the bridge when the ship operated in restricted waters.

Bahrain’s tugs and rising tides aided the vessel’s rescue from the sandy bottom the next day, and fortunately, no injuries were reported.

An inspection confirmed that the ship sustained a few scratches to its hull and no significant damage.

Launched in 2006, Alan Shepard can accommodate over 120 crew members, who are civilian mariners with a U.S Coast Guard License. It was used to transport cargo and other supplies for naval ships at sea.

It is presently in the Middle East and is supporting USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the strike group.

References: Navy Times, Military.com

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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