The crew of US navy ship that poisoned its own water supply by dumping diesel into the ocean in 2016 are still battling long-term illnesses, according to a new report. An investigation into the fuel dump allegedly authorised by senior personnel serving on the USS Boxer has revealed crew members became sick from the prolonged consumption of contaminated water onboard the warship.According to Military.com’s detailed report, some veterans who were impacted by the incident seven years ago have also had their disability claims rejected by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.Ex-crew members told the publication they had developed serious health conditions such as lung cysts, excessive menstrual bleeding, as well a rare form of lung cancer due to exposure to the ship’s fuel-laced water supply.Members onboard the USS Boxer, while on deployment in the Indo-Pacific, on 15 March 2016 have alleged that the serving
Machinist’s Mate Chief Michael Gonzales ordered sailors to dump diesel fuel off the right side of the ship. New Jersey attorney linked to three rapes after family submitted DNA to genealogy website Typically, during a fuel dump, evaporators on the left side of the ship suck up clean seawater to be turned into drinking water.Under routine circumstances – crew members told Military.com fuel dumping is standard, if not entirely legal – the dump might not have triggered a health incident.However, an “all stop” order issued shortly meant the ship was brought to a halt, ingesting the fuel they had dumped in the ocean rather than clean water. Crew members said it would have been difficult to get the fuel out once the water was contaminated. Shannon Arms, a former machinist’s mate second class, said there was another reason they didn’t expel the contaminated water.
“They would now have to admit that someone f***** up,” he added. Mr Gonzales, in a statement, told Military.com “there was no dumping of tanks or anything” calling the contamination story a “mess deck rumour”. “I would say fuel didn’t get into the water supply, because I remember correctly, all the water chemistry was sanitary. As far as I can remember, and I have a pretty good memory, there was no dumping of tanks or anything,” the now-retired Navy officer said.However, an email from the watch officer dated 15 March 2016 alerted crew that “there is fuel in the water” and bottled water was available for consumption.Former marine sargeant Sarah Blanton said: “The fumes were overpowering. You smelled it when you washed your clothes in it, showered in it, when you flushed the toilet,”Crew members who spoke to the publication said it was two months before the ship’s tanks were fully flushed and cleaned. “We ported in Dubai to fix this,” Alexander Casto said. “We sat in Dubai for probably a week, me and my colleagues were on watch 24/7 as water trucks came in to fill up and dump these tanks...Workers came in and cleaned the tanks.”
A spokesperson for the Naval Surface Force, commander Arlo Abrahamson confirmed “traces of fuel” were found in the ship’s potable water system in 2016.“USS Boxer’s leadership and crew took immediate and appropriate measures to restrict access to the ship’s potable water. After conducting a thorough flush and inspection of the ship’s potable water system, fresh water was restored,” his statement added.
Source : independent