Well hopefully it's NOT just zero defect mentality setting in, but even in the SWO community mishaps don't always lead to firings either. About 2 years or so back, a DDG on deployment ran soft aground while pulling in somewhere in the Med (I'm thinking it was Turkey) with a pilot embarked...no details came out, but CO wasn't fired. And then another DDG just starting its deployment fouled a prop on a tow line, again, CO survived.If there's really nothing else there, does it really make sense to can a guy over what (to a non-SWO) seems like a minor incident? I'm sure there are commanders making much greater mistakes while commanding ships that don't get relieved.
I know seamanship is sacrosanct to SWOs, but come on. An aviator can have a mishap, but as long as he wasn't negligent, he can still go on to be a productive member of society.
Problem is, we don't know if there were mitigating circumstances or not. (low visibility? Buoy out of position? Nighttime transit, buoy lighting failed? Unable to maneuver due to traffic/narrow channel? "other" clusterfuck?)
But under normal circumstances, dinging a buoy is like hitting a fire hydrant...they don't move, and they sit where you're not supposed to be driving.