The point is that she wasn't being navigated at all...simply driven between points on the chart plotter.
Well..yeah.... ever been on the bridge of a large ship at sea? That's how it's been done the last 15 years. You steer a ship with a mouse or stick, not a wheel and plot courses on your chart plotter same as we do.
Before we go down this rabbit hole, let me say that the guy was the Captain and is ultimately responsible for the safety of ship and crew. Automatically ... he is at fault.. the hearing couldn't have gone any other way.
One point on that chart plotter though. The report points out that he used two Navy issued charts for navigating those waters and that the two charts did not agree. When he plotted his course, one chart showed him clear of the reef and one showed the ship passing over the reef.
The Captain obviously flipped a coin and lost. I'd put an equal amount of blame on the command that issued those charts as that was what he was supposed to use to navigate the ship.. yet this fact hasn't been covered in this thread.
Which brings up a couple of questions..
They convicted the Captain for driving his ship on a reef. Which occurred because they plotted their course using the inaccurate set of charts. How was he supposed to know which set of issued charts was accurate?
Lastly, by finding the Captain at fault (this was non judicial, he was not found guilty), how does this prevent any other US Navy ships from grounding on the same damn reef?