The executive officer of a Jacksonville-based Navy Reserve squadron was relieved of his duties following an investigation into the groundings of two patrol boats in South Carolina over the course of two days.
The Navy said Capt. Adrian Garcia was removed from his post on Tuesday. On the evening of April 13, a 34-foot patrol boat under Garcia's command ran aground on a jetty while coming into Charleston Harbor during a routine training.
Three of the five sailors on the boat had to be taken to a hospital, and the boat ended up sinking in about 20 feet of water. That same night, a Charleston fire boat that was racing to help the disabled Navy boat hit a buoy, leaving a gash in the boat that required it to be towed to shore.
The next day, another Navy patrol boat that was conducting an over-watch mission for the first boat also grounded onto the rock jetty, according to Lt. Cmdr. Charity Hardison, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach-based Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.
Hardison said on Wednesday that the second Navy boat was operating in rough seas and inclement weather at the time, and that while the boat sustained minor damage, no sailors were hurt.
Garcia was the acting commanding officer at the time of the incidents. In a statement, the Navy said Garcia demonstrated unsound judgment and failed to take responsible steps to prevent the incidents from happening. He was ultimately relieved of his duties due to "a loss of confidence and substandard performance involving a significant event."
The Navy said Cmdr. Clay Wild will assume executive officer duties at the Coastal Riverine Squadron 10 until Garcia's permanent replacement is identified.
Coastal Riverine Force sailors conduct port and harbor security, high value asset protection, offensive combat operations and maritime security operations in rivers, harbors and coastal waterways.