Navy CO Fired After Ship Runs Aground in Japan

Capt. Joseph Carrigan (Navy Photo)
Capt. Joseph Carrigan (Navy Photo)

The skipper of the guided-missile cruiser Antietam has been removed from his post, a month after the ship ran aground in Tokyo Bay.

Capt. Joseph Carrigan was released by Task Force 70 Commander Rear Adm. Charles Williams due to loss of confidence in Carrigan's ability to command, U.S. Pacific Fleet announced Wednesday in a release.

While investigations into the damage sustained by the ship and how to repair it are ongoing, a command investigation examining leadership actions at the time of the incident revealed grounds to remove Carrigan, a PACFLEET spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, told

Capt. Jonathan Duffy, the deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15, will take on temporary duties as commanding officer of the Antietam until a permanent relief can be assigned, officials said in the release. For the time being, Carrigan has been reassigned to U.S. 7th Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan.

According to his official Navy biography, Carrigan was commissioned through the ROTC after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1993. He previously served as the executive officer for the guided-missile destroyer Nitze and the commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer Russell.

"We hold our COs to a high standard," Knight said. "Ultimately, the safety of the ship and the safety of the sailors is their responsibility."

Plans to repair the Antietam are still being finalized. The repair work is expected to begin in Japan in coming weeks, according to the release.

The ship ran aground while anchoring in Tokyo Bay on Jan. 31, damaging its propellers in the process. The incident caused the ship to dump a significant amount of oil -- 1,100 gallons, according to a Navy Times report -- into the water. No American or Japanese personnel were injured in the incident, and officials from both countries were involved in efforts to contain the spill.

The Navy has not released any additional information about what caused the incident or the extent of damage to the Antietam.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at@HopeSeck.

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