Navy officials have relieved an executive officer of his duties after an investigation into the grounding of two vessels in the Charleston Harbor in April.
Officials cited a loss of confidence and substandard performance involving a significant event as the reasoning behind Capt. Adrian Garcia’s dismissal, according to a news release. Coastal Riverine Group 2’s Capt. James Hamblet relieved Garcia of his duties Tuesday.
Garcia’s leadership came under question after two 34-foot Coastal Riverine Squadron 10 patrol boats that he commanded ran aground in April.
According to Post and Courier reports, on April 13 a patrol boat from CRS 10 was conducting a routine training mission when it ran aground at 9:41 p.m. in the Charleston Harbor.
Six people on board the vessel were injured. Three of those people were treated and released, Lt. Cmdr. Charity Hardison said. The others were taken to Medical University Hospital in stable condition, she said.
A Charleston fire boat also was damaged while trying to reach the distressed Navy vessel. The fire boat struck a buoy in the water, causing a gash to its side.
A second Navy patrol boat from CRS 10 ran aground the following day while watching over the first Navy patrol boat wreckage, Hardison said. That vessel received minor damage and no one was injured, she said.
The CRS 10 is a Navy Reserve unit based in Jacksonville, Fla.
According to the Navy news release, “As a result of the groundings, CRG 2 convened a command investigation which revealed Garcia, who was the acting commanding officer at the time of the incident, demonstrated unsound judgment and poor operational risk management decision-making, failing to take responsible steps to prevent the incident from happening.”
Cmdr. Clay Wild will take over executive officer duties until Garcia’s successor is chosen, the release said.
A report on the damage to the 36-foot Charleston fire boat, named the Louis Behrens, is expected by the end of the week, Charleston Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh said. The city has been waiting for an estimate from the insurance company.
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