The Navy on Sunday revealed details of the final moments of seven sailors who died aboard a destroyer after it collided container ship near Japan — ripping open the warship and sending sea water gushing into the rooms where the men lay asleep. “The damage was significant. This was not a small collision,” U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said at a press conference in Yokosuka. The Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal plowed into the far smaller USS Fitzgerald at around 2:20 a.m. Saturday, “opening the hull to the sea” and rapidly flooding three large compartments that included two berthing areas for
I spent three years driving a destroyer, and there´s no way a lumbering container ship could sneak up and ram the far more nimble DD. The junior officer on watch somehow steered her in front of the other ship; a Court of Inquiry will try to figure out why. His career is over, and he may well face a Court Martial for negligence. The Captain will likely never be promoted again, even though he was in his cabin asleep, and had not been aboard long enough to form judgements about the competence of the various officers standing bridge watches. He is absolutely responsible for everything that happens on his ship.
Occam´s Razor suggests that simple solutions work best. How does this work? The container ship was on autopilot, small underpaid crew asleep on a dull night. And meanwhile, on the destroyer bridge, same dull night, one squid went to the head, one nodded off there for just a minute, and a third was over in the corner "checking his email." Heh heh. The skipper, poor fellow, was also asleep. Annoying collision alarm making too much noise, so the dozy guy at the helm hit "snooze." Oops. Tempting though it is to trot out hellish conspiracies, especially with so much gold-braided butt to be covered, my money remains on a concatenation of human error and tragically bad luck.
There was more news yesterday. They released the names of the dead and wounded, families have been notified. It discussed the collision. Apparently the freighter was making a U-turn and slammed into the DD. Looks like the freighter crew will be charged with professional negligence. Said the lane was a busy one with some 400 ships passing a day. navy wont talk about it. Was cloaking in effect at the time is a question.
Nos. 11, 12 solved the case......see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4614624/Young-sailor-identified-one-seven-missing-sea.html scroll down to look at eratic course of the container ship prior to incident....."a hunting they did go" ......!
I would be with #13 on the Occam´s Razor approach, except it does not explain the sudden U-turn (autopilot would not do that) and the "perfect" T-bone hit on the destroyer. If Islamists can employ jumbo jets or trucks as weapons, adding container ships to their "arsenal" is not much of a stretch.
Not one word in the article about "how" the Fitz crashed, just that it "did" get hit.
The pictures make it pretty simple. The collision occurred broadside abeam on the starboard side of the Fitz. That´s not arguable. Another thing not arguable are the international rules of the road for vessels under power. The cargo ship, before impact could see the starboard running lights of the Fitz, making the cargo ship the privileged vessel giving it the right of way. Second, the vessel with less maneuverability (and the cargo ship is a WHOLE LOT less maneuverable than the Fitz) is the privileged vessel and has the right of way. The burdened vessel (the Fitz) is required to give way for the two reasons above. An 800 foot cargo vessel is completely incapable of making a "sharp" turn, especially if it is heavy due to carrying a bunch of plastic crap in big metal boxes.
IF, there are mitigating circumstances like proximity to shallow water, other vessels or ANY maneuver by the Fitz that would place it into a greater degree of en extremis to get out of the cargo ship´s way, then the skipper of the Fitz and the OOD might have a prayer. Otherwise, the skipper of the Fitz WILL get, at a minimum, a no band change of command real soon and the OOD´s next job will include, "do you want fries with that?" (unless of course he or she is a transgender). Hopefully, there´s some unknown mitigating circumstances that justify the Fitz not maneuvering to prevent the collision.
One time in the Med on a carrier a cargo ship cut across our bow and all hell broke loose. Collision alarms sounded and sailors went to damage control stations, etc. The cargo ship was at least one mile ahead of our ship, so I wonder what was going on on the bridge of that destroyer.
I think I know how this happened. Two sailors were up in the crow´s nest. The water was calm as a mill pond on that moonless night. Their sole job was to keep an eye out for other vessels
Suddenly out of nowhere this giant tanker appeared..."Tanker right ahead"..."Why aren´t they turning?"... The rest as they say is history...Let´s face it, the ship is made of steel, of course it could sink.
I hope this helps shed some light on this mystery.
If that makes no sense.. just blame it on the Asian drivers of the tanker.
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