Naval Officers not guilty in Collision case

Naval Officers not guilty in Collision case

Two Maritime self-defence Force officers were acquitted in Yokohama district court earlier this week.

The trial took place arising out of an incident that took place in 2008 where a MSDF destroyer collided with a fishing trawler. It was reported in Daily Yomiuri Online ( that the commission could have been avoided, and that it was the fishing boat that should have avoided it.

The judge ruled that the fishing vessel ‘ was in a situation in which it should have been aware of the risk of collision, but failed to take evasive action’.

The officers had been charged with professional negligence resulting in the death to fishermen as well is endangering marine traffic.

Throughout the prosecution there had been a strenuous contest as to the courses taken by the two boats. The collision resulted in the deaths of two crew members who happened to be father and son. The central issue arose out of the timing of manoeuver made by the fishing vessel when it changed course and turn right. The court analysed the GPS that and came to the conclusion that the course as put forward by the prosecutor was not believable.

It is noteworthy that the judge did go on to criticise the naval vessel for not keeping a proper watch.

Dermot Conway
contact Dermot at 0214901000 or