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Navy blames sub leaders for crash

November 19, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The crew of a U.S. submarine made dozens of errors before the vessel collided with an American warship in the Persian Gulf, a Navy review has found. The accident exposed lax leaders who tolerated sleeping, slouching and a radio room rigged with music speakers, the review said.

Navy investigators blamed the collision on the submarine's "ineffective and negligent command leadership," including what they called a lack of standards and failure to adequately prepare for navigating the busy Strait of Hormuz.

The Hartford, a nuclear-powered submarine based in Groton, Conn., collided with the New Orleans, a San Diego-based Navy amphibious ship, on March 20 in the strait at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

The New Orleans' fuel tank was ruptured, and 15 sailors on the Hartford sustained minor injuries. The collision caused $2.3 million in damage to the New Orleans, and the cost of repairs to the Hartford has been $102.6 million to date.

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