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Trippe Commanding Officer Relieved of Duties

May 1, 1989

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) _ The commander of a Newport-based frigate that collided with another ship 12 days ago has been relieved of his duties on the frigate, a Navy spokeswoman said Monday.

Commander Lewis Athow, who was in charge of the USS Trippe, was suspended after a preliminary investigation and temporarily assigned to Naval Surface Group Four in Newport, spokeswoman Mary Silvia said.

Commander John C. Dranchak has been desginated interim commanding officer until a permanent relief can report to the Trippe, which would take two weeks, Silvia said.

The Trippe collided with the USS Platte off the coast of Florida on April 19, causing minor flooding and one minor injury to a Platte crewman. It was during those exercises that the USS Iowa exploded in an unrelated accident, killing 47 crewmen.

Silva would not say why Athow was suspended. An investigation was continuing, she said.

The Trippe is in Charleston, S.C., for repairs.

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