Yeah, that's gotta be it. Officers are above reproach, so it's gotta be the sailors at fault.....$#!t ALWAYS flows downhill.
In the twenty years I served in the Navy, the term “sailor” referred to anyone in the Navy, enlisted or officer. The term “real sailor” implied you trusted him enough to serve on the same ship.
There are exactly four people who bear primary responsibility: 1. OOD / conning officer- who is obviously a $4it for brains not to steer out of the way of the freighter 2. CO - for qualifying said OOD and for not supervising when in crowded conditions. If CO was conning at the time, then the others might skate if they were actually doing their jobs 3. XO for inadequate training of the officers 4. Navigator / Senior watch officer for allowing this OOD, who was incompetent, to stand watch in restricted waters.