The Coast Guard charged four petty officers with crimes including involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide in an accident that involved a patrol boat hitting a private vessel and killing an 8-year-old boy last December on San Diego Bay.
The move follows a lawsuit by the family whose 26-foot bowrider was struck by the 33-foot Coast Guard boat in a crowded anchorage during a holiday boat parade.
"Adm. [Joseph] Castillo came down to San Diego and told everyone that we were going to look into this accident, try to determine what went wrong and hold people accountable. This is the first step," said Dan Dewell, a spokesman for the Coast Guard's district headquarters in Alameda, in a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The military version of a preliminary hearing is expected to take place in several weeks.