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Commander of USS John S McCain pleads guilty, retires

By
Danielle Haynes
The former commanding officer of the USS John S. McCain was issued a letter of reprimand, must forfeit $6,000 in wages and agreed to retire for his role in the deadly crash of the warship. File Photo by MC2 Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy
The former commanding officer of the USS John S. McCain was issued a letter of reprimand, must forfeit $6,000 in wages and agreed to retire for his role in the deadly crash of the warship. File Photo by MC2 Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- The former commanding officer of the USS John S. McCain pleaded guilty Friday to dereliction of duty for a crash in 2017 that killed 10 sailors.

Under the plea deal, Navy Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez was issued a punitive letter of reprimand and was ordered to forfeit $6,000 in wages. Sanchez also agreed to submit a letter of resignation.

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"I am ultimately responsible and stand accountable," he said during a court-martial. "I will forever question my decisions that contributed to this tragic event."

The USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker, the Alnic MC, on Aug. 20 2017, after making a sudden turn in the Singapore Strait. The turn caused the U.S. Navy warship to head into the path of the tanker.

When the oil tanker crew saw the U.S. warship turning, they presumed the vessel could safely pass ahead, the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau of Singapore said in a report in March.

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