Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Reaction to 711 Report from MM2(SS) Ashley's Father

Originally posted by Bubblehead at 2039 09 May:

The AP story that's been making the rounds of all the newspapers and web sites has a couple of quotes from the father of MM2(SS) Joseph Ashley, the submariner who died in the San Francisco grounding. The article on CNN.com is typical:

"Ashley's father, Dan, received the report Friday and said he was not surprised with its findings. He expressed concern about the vessel's "sub notes," which are created by senior Navy commanders to chart the vessel's course and sent to crews before they embark on a mission.Had Navy officials corrected those notes, "the accident would've never happened and my son would still be alive," said Ashley, who served in the Navy for eight years."

I was interested to read some further comments from Mr. Ashley in his local newpaper, the Akron Beacon-Journal. (May require registration) Here are some excerpts:

"The father of a Summit County sailor killed in a January submarine accident believes there are more to blame for his son's death than those who have been disciplined so far."Dan Ashley's reaction came following the release this weekend of a 124-page Navy report that concludes the accident that killed Manchester High School graduate Joseph Ashley could have been avoided..."...Dan Ashley, a resident of New Franklin who works for Babcock & Wilcox in Barberton, said Sunday that guilt should be shared by those who wrote haphazard ``subnotes'' -- papers he described as the map provided to the submarine for its journey in the Pacific."Ashley, 53, said he and his family have forgiven Cmdr. Kevin Mooney and the other six who apologized for their roles in the accident..."...Ashley said the release of the report over Mother's Day weekend was extremely difficult for his wife Vicki and their family.``Today is a bad day,'' Ashley said Sunday."

These thoughts of a grieving father who obviously doesn't want anyone else to suffer the pain that he and his family are feeling are quite understandable. I'm not sure if he wants those he feels are also responsible to be punished, or just accept guilt. I personally don't want to see anyone else punished, but I'd like it if the Navy would perhaps let people know that the actions of the San Francisco navigation team were not completely out of line with normal fleet practices, and let people know that needed force-wide changes, if any, are being made.


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