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Captain Sacked After Grounding Nuclear Submarine

Sky News logo Sky News 06/01/2016
The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia in this handout photo © Reuters The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia in this handout photo

A US submarine commander has lost his job after he grounded an Ohio-class guided missile submarine as it returned to port.

The nuclear-powered USS Georgia hit a channel buoy and then grounded as it headed for Kings Bay, Georgia, on 25 November, causing at least $1m in damages.

Captain Dave Adams, commanding officer of the boat's "Blue Crew", was relieved of command on Monday by Rear Admiral Randy Crites.

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In a statement to The Brunswick News, he wrote: "The actions that hazarded Georgia upon a scheduled return to port in the dark on the morning of 25 Nov were mine alone.

"I ask that my lapses not be used to denigrate the terrific service of the sailors and families of Georgia Blue.

"After 30 years of serving in the world's finest Navy, my only regret is that I will miss sailing with them again to stand against our nation's enemies."

In a statement, the US Navy said Cpt Adams had been dismissed due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command based on facts and circumstances revealed in a command investigation into the Nov 25, 2015, incident in which USS Georgia was returning to port, struck a channel buoy, and then grounded".

It added: "Commanding officers are held to the highest standards of professional conduct and accept the responsibility of command with full regard for its consequences."

The USS Georgia has two crews - designated "Gold" and "Blue" - which alternate operating the vessel. It is armed with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as torpedos.

The US Navy said the accident caused around $1m of damage to the $2bn submarine. Last month, it said the damage was limited to the exterior of the submarine and there was no water intrusion.

Commissioned in 1982 as a ballistic-missile submarine, the USS Georgia was converted to a guided-missile boat in 2004.

Cpt Adams was reassigned to Submarine Group 10 after the accident. An investigation remains open.

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