The Colonel faults the crew to the use of a known damaged mooring line. However, higher authority blames the incident by the occurrence of heavy weather which in turn placed heavy stress on the line which had been weakened by some unknown condition and not evident to crew.
I was involved in a similar situation while a Deck Division Officer on the Carrier Intrepid. My Division was responsible with the manning and maintenance of the midships refueling station located on the starboard side, outboard sponson deck.
During one operation our riding line parted causing the collapse of the gear. Upon investigation, we determined that this manila line had suffered damage due to acid fumes emanating thru the port hole from the Photo Lab inside. Just below the hole on the weather deck, the line was normally stored on a cleat. Damage to the line was not evident to our crew.