March 26, 2005 in Nation/World

Sub crewmembers disciplined for accident

Associated Press

HAGATNA, Guam – Six crewmembers of an attack submarine that struck a mass of undersea rock in the western Pacific earlier this year have been disciplined, a Navy spokesman said Wednesday.

All were found guilty at a hearing Tuesday of hazarding a vessel and dereliction of duty, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis, public affairs officer for the Pearl Harbor-based Pacific Fleet Submarine Force.

Punishment included reduction in rank and punitive letters of reprimand, Davis said.

The identities of those involved will not be released because it was a nonjudicial punishment, Davis said.

The submarine’s skipper, Cmdr. Kevin Mooney, earlier was relieved of his command and reprimanded.

The USS San Francisco was on its way to Australia on Jan. 8 when the undersea grounding occurred. The submarine was conducting underwater operations about 350 miles south of Guam, and the rock obstacle was not on the ship’s charts.

One seaman died of injuries suffered during the crash. Twenty-three crewmembers who were injured in the accident have recovered and returned to duty, Davis said.

The submarine is in drydock at its homeport on Guam, where temporary repairs are being made so it can travel on the ocean surface under its own power to another location for comprehensive repairs, Davis said.

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