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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
Bruno

Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

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39 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

There may well have been a translation error -  might well have been 10 sec's rather than 10 minutes.

Media reporting is almost always chock full of errors, and even more so when original sources are in a different language. 

There is a written report from a sea captain.  I doubt minutes and seconds got confused.  Commercial skippers with illuminate their bow and forward cargo all the time at night to help another boat figure out where they have put themselves.  Horns are usually the last panic hopeless effort.  If the Navy was blacked out maybe the container just new something was on the water but not what was ahead and to port? Note:  At the point of contact the Navy would have been well below that massive cargo bow.

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53 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

There is a written report from a sea captain. 

Yes, but is it actually available somewhere to be downloaded or seen? The news say that Reuters has seen it, not that they have it. So they may very well refer to it wrongly.

" according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula's report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reuters. "

Note also this is a report to ship owner not part of any of the official investigations.

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This is single sourced from Reuters, and they do NOT have a copy of the captain's report in their possession.  They merely have 'seen the report'.  That usually means it was shown to them over lunch, and I guess it is written in Japanese.

In those circumstances, I would not be surprised if there were errors reporting the details of the contents in english. 

Pretty much everyone who has ever been involved in accident investigation notes how incorrect the media often is about details.

The 10 minutes as reported just does not make much sense as reported, while 10 seconds would.  Or it could be Crystal saw Fitzgerald 10 minutes ahead, they then started signalling, and then only later (much less than 10 minutes) turned starboard rudder.

The 'big picture' that I take away from the report, which is likely to be generally true, is that there were people awake on the crystal bridge, they saw the Fitzgerald at some point just before the collision, and took some set of actions, which obviously were in the end not sufficient.

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36 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

The 'big picture' that I take away from the report, which is likely to be generally true, is that there were people awake on the crystal bridge, they saw the Fitzgerald before the collision, and took some set of actions, which obviously were in the end not sufficient.

But kinda damning if so.

Even if Destroyer is 100% wrong from COLREGS (I know...) the freighter in this scenario: sees the destroyer, tries to warn and avoid the destroyer but hits the destroyer - OK up to here but then its gets weird - then rather than stopping, or immediately turning around, or immediately radioing for help or providing any help... returns to its base course to Tokyo, accelerates and motors away swiftly into the night before finally coming back 1 hour later??  That seems odd, no?  I saw it, I turned to avoid it, but then after hitting it, I ignored it, turned again for the barn and accelerated off on my merry way???  I gotta be missing something here because that does not add up...

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26 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

This is single sourced from Reuters, and they do NOT have a copy of the captain's report in their possession.  They merely have 'seen the report'.  That usually means it was shown to them over lunch, and I guess it is written in Japanese.

In those circumstances, I would not be surprised if there were errors reporting the details of the contents in english. 

Pretty much everyone who has ever been involved in accident investigation notes how incorrect the media often is about details.

The 10 minutes as reported just does not make much sense as reported, while 10 seconds would.  Or it could be Crystal saw Fitzgerald 10 minutes ahead, they then started signalling, and then only later (much less than 10 minutes) turned starboard rudder.

The 'big picture' that I take away from the report, which is likely to be generally true, is that there were people awake on the crystal bridge, they saw the Fitzgerald at some point just before the collision, and took some set of actions, which obviously were in the end not sufficient.

I'm doubting the report is true. It's the captain trying to cover his ass...even if the ACX is stand on vessel, they're required to maintain a lookout and avoid a collision...neither of which they apparently did. 

Mid the ACX is worried about collision, why not hail on radio? Why no horn signals? Either would have gotten attention of Fitz's bridge. Flashing lights from several miles away not so likely. He claims he flashed lights because it can't be proven false,  attempts to hail by radio or sounding horn can be proven to have occurred or not by bridge recorder and witnesses on other ships. 

Likewise, the 'tried to avoid collision' story doesn't jive. Why did they resume original course and speed after the collision if the ship was under control by a helmsman and not autopilot? Why no attempts at radio contact? Why wait 55 minutes to report to Japan CG about a collision if the bridge was manned and attempted to avoid one?

OTOH, the ships actions are entirely consistant with the ACX having no lookout, being on autopilot, and minimal manning on bridge who weren't paying attention and perhaps even stepped out for a cup of coffee and a smoke. 

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11 minutes ago, Wess said:

But kinda damning if so.

Even if Destroyer 100% wrong from COLREGS (I know...) the freighter in this scenario: sees the destroyer, tries to warn and avoid the destroyer but hits the destroyer - OK up to here but then its gets weird - then rather than stopping, or immediately turning around, or immediately radioing for help or providing any help... returns to its base course to port, accelerates and motors away swiftly into the night before finally coming back 1 hour later??  That seems odd, no?  I saw it, I turned to avoid it, but then after hitting it, I ignored it, turned again for the barn and accelerated off on my merry way.  I gotta be missing something here because that does not add up...

Yep. Doesn't make sense.

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13 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Yep. Doesn't make sense.

I have been busy this morning and an hour or so ago quickly read through the new posts/info.....came here to post the same thing RKoch offered .....10 minutes ,whatever advance period of time...and could not avoid....???

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Just now, RKoch said:

Yep. Doesn't make sense.

Does a flashing deck or search light show up on the data recorders?   A horn would be heard on the bridge microphones, we learned about those from the El Faro forensics.    It would be suspicious if the 'warning' made by the Crystal was the only warning that wouldn't leave an electronic trail.   I also suspect transcription or translation error on the 10 minutes between detection and collision.         

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

But kinda damning if so.

Even if Destroyer is 100% wrong from COLREGS (I know...) the freighter in this scenario: sees the destroyer, tries to warn and avoid the destroyer but hits the destroyer - OK up to here but then its gets weird - then rather than stopping, or immediately turning around, or immediately radioing for help or providing any help... returns to its base course to Tokyo, accelerates and motors away swiftly into the night before finally coming back 1 hour later??  That seems odd, no?  I saw it, I turned to avoid it, but then after hitting it, I ignored it, turned again for the barn and accelerated off on my merry way???  I gotta be missing something here because that does not add up...

This is just a general note, not specific to the course of the Crystal. If a ship is running on heavy fuel oil instead of #2 diesel, there can be significant issues with rapid power reductions. The fuel is almost solid at room temperature among other issues.

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1 hour ago, Lark said:

Does a flashing deck or search light show up on the data recorders?   A horn would be heard on the bridge microphones, we learned about those from the El Faro forensics.    It would be suspicious if the 'warning' made by the Crystal was the only warning that wouldn't leave an electronic trail.   I also suspect transcription or translation error on the 10 minutes between detection and collision.         

That's my thought. A radio transmission or horn (or lack there of) is easily proven or disproven on bridge recorder and witnesses on other ships. There's no way to prove or disprove the captain 'flashed the lights'. 

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Let's assume that ACX did see Fitz 10 min before the collision. What did it see? Fitz was at least 3 nm away probably 4-5 or even more depending on course and speed of Fitz. Did it see it on the radar or nav lights? That is quite far to see the nav lights with several vessels around. What would ACX see on the radar? Will Fitz give an echo that clearly shows the size of her? Or did ACX maybe think it was a smaller fishing vessel etc?

ACX was on a TSS lane while Fitz was crossing the lane and also comming from port side. So there was no reason for ACX to take avoiding actions as long as it was reasonable to assume Fitz will. So when should a ship like ACX start to turn/decelarate on a situation like this while on a TSS lane? There is even a comment on some sites that blame ACX for the 15 degree turn it did 20 minutes before the collision even though this is what you are supposed to do on that TSS. They claim that ACX should have kept its course as a stand on vessel, which is just ridicilous on a busy TSS lane. You could never turn, since there is always someone with rather small CPA 20 in the following 20 minutes.

I have been pointed several times with a search light of a ship (not a flashing one) and I have felt they want to make sure we see them and also they see who we are (a sailboat without an AIS trasmission). You certainly notice when you are illuminated with a searh light in the middle of the night. Probably not from 5 nm away but easily more than 1 nm.

If the captain of ACX is lying, he will be caught doing it. Quite easy to check most he has said. But again all this is just from a paper seen by Reuters and nothing to do with investigations.

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1 minute ago, RKoch said:

That's my thought. A radio transmission or horn (or lack there of) is easily proven or disproven on bridge recorder and witnesses on other ships. There's no way to prove or disprove the captain 'flashed the lights'. 

There were quite a few people on Fitz and other ships close by that could have seen the flashing. If that was done with a search light, it is quite easy to see. If nobody noticed that, how much that is going to help the captain?

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

This is just a general note, not specific to the course of the Crystal. If a ship is running on heavy fuel oil instead of #2 diesel, there can be significant issues with rapid power reductions. The fuel is almost solid at room temperature among other issues.

I believe there is a time lapse to switch from heavy fuel to a lighter fuel for maneuvering. However, if involved in a collision I think a prudent captain would just order an immediate stop, not resume course and speed for an additional 30 minutes. Also, there would be immediate radio contact attempts to the other vessel and Japanese CG...not waiting 55 minutes. This makes me think the bridge was inattentive...they didn't know the destroyer was there, didn't make an evasive turn, didn't realize they hit it...until some time had lapsed.

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8 minutes ago, Joakim said:

There were quite a few people on Fitz and other ships close by that could have seen the flashing. If that was done with a search light, it is quite easy to see. If nobody noticed that, how much that is going to help the captain?

IDK if the flashing lights meant a searchlight or deck lights. I doubt anyone on Fitz saw it, or there wouldn't have been a collision. Ships more than a few miles away may not have paid any attention.

Other ships would have paid attention to a radio hail, and likely would hear a warning signal of 5 horn blasts, if for no other reason than to make sure they weren't the vessel on collision course. I wonder if any other ships saw the collision on radar, and tried to hail either of the two ships by radio.

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11 minutes ago, RKoch said:

I believe there is a time lapse to switch from heavy fuel to a lighter fuel for maneuvering. However, if involved in a collision I think a prudent captain would just order an immediate stop, not resume course and speed for an additional 30 minutes. Also, there would be immediate radio contact attempts to the other vessel and Japanese CG...not waiting 55 minutes. This makes me think the bridge was inattentive...they didn't know the destroyer was there, didn't make an evasive turn, didn't realize they hit it...until some time had lapsed.

If the fuel is allowed to cool in the lines and injectors, you have a dead ship and a huge mess to fix. Besides for anything else, you could not even go back and render aid.

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21 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

If the fuel is allowed to cool in the lines and injectors, you have a dead ship and a huge mess to fix. Besides for anything else, you could not even go back and render aid.

I would stop engines immediately, even at risk of making a mess of fuel lines. Don't know if the smaller ship is immediately sinking. Returning an hour later might be too late. When the Melbourne cut the Evans in half, they stopped immediately to render assistance, which saved many lives.

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Don't feed trolls and its all speculation anyway.  But at a minimum they clearly could have slowed, circled, and radioed for help, if they saw the destroyer and knew they hit it as the report claims.  But we don't even know if the report represents an accurate summary of the freighter captain's view/position.

One way or the other its all going to eventually come out.

And regardless of fault, they got hit.  The Navy needs to figure out how to change bridge operations and culture to stop this from continuing to repeat.

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Swapping fuels and even slowing an engine on a large vessel is a hazard.  In a crowded lane you can create another hazard to navigation and maritime safety.  Normal fuel swap over is two days and maybe even 72 hours.  One fuel must be heated and other cooled to no more than 45 Celsius.  In a crisis as long as the fuel temp does not change more that 2 degrees a minute  a good crew can do the switch on 30-45 minutes to allow maneuvering with some possible levels of illegal pollution. The list of things that can go wrong in haste is very long including fire.  Starting unplanned  in the middle of the night would be disorienting and troublesome.  Diesel becomes volatile and explosive at the temperatures of heavy fuel oil.  There is more to this than fuel lines and injectors. 

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Wasn't ACX on its way to Tokyo? That was only 5-6 hours away at 18 knots, so they must have something else than a normal 48-72 hour fuel swap planned, if they even needed to swap.

I'm surpised that there is no speculation about the actions of Fitz crew regarding flooding and closing the door while someone must have known that a fireman went in to rescue people. A lot of credit is given to Fitz crew for keeping the vessel from sinking and some are taken as heroes while it is yet unknown did they cause the whole collision and was it really needed to close the door before the fireman and possibly someone else got out.

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There are reports Crystal has refused to declare their intended destination. They may have been running illegal bunkers for the waters.  Or the day tank was already set up for the switch at 2 degrees per minute. Today the ship is held in Toyko and the captain has left the country of Japan?  For whatever reason it took 30 minutes or even and hour before engineering was ready and able to allow ship maneuverability.  Cooling the fuel paths for diesel would explain that time and delay.

 

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47 minutes ago, Joakim said:

Wasn't ACX on its way to Tokyo? That was only 5-6 hours away at 18 knots, so they must have something else than a normal 48-72 hour fuel swap planned, if they even needed to swap.

I'm surpised that there is no speculation about the actions of Fitz crew regarding flooding and closing the door while someone must have known that a fireman went in to rescue people. A lot of credit is given to Fitz crew for keeping the vessel from sinking and some are taken as heroes while it is yet unknown did they cause the whole collision and was it really needed to close the door before the fireman and possibly someone else got out.

While the Fitz may have been the give way vessel, I can't find great fault in their post-collision damage control. It's a shame some lives were lost, but likely more would have been lost if the ship had gone down. No communicans, captain injured and unconcious (reportedly), and with an engine room flooding they may not have had lighting in the berthing compartments or been aware there were still men in there. Sounds like they followed their training.

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But even it that's true, why wait an hour (until they got back) to make the call for assistance?  Surely if they knew they hit someone, and they couldn't hail that someone  on the VHF that it needed to be reported...

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44 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

There are reports Crystal has refused to declare their intended destination. They may have been running illegal bunkers for the waters.  Or the day tank was already set up for the switch at 2 degrees per minute. Today the ship is held in Toyko and the captain has left the country of Japan?  For whatever reason it took 30 minutes or even and hour before engineering was ready and able to allow ship maneuverability.  Cooling the fuel paths for diesel would explain that time and delay.

 

Possibly. OTOH they could have circled and radioed a warning to ships to keep clear. Or radioed ships to aid the Fitz until they could return. AFAIK their first radio transmission was to Japan CG 55 minutes later. That seems unacceptable to me. 

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4 hours ago, RKoch said:

I believe there is a time lapse to switch from heavy fuel to a lighter fuel for maneuvering. However, if involved in a collision I think a prudent captain would just order an immediate stop, not resume course and speed for an additional 30 minutes. Also, there would be immediate radio contact attempts to the other vessel and Japanese CG...not waiting 55 minutes. This makes me think the bridge was inattentive...they didn't know the destroyer was there, didn't make an evasive turn, didn't realize they hit it...until some time had lapsed.

No way the crew of a 30,000 ton container ship carrying its weight in cargo and moving at 18 knots, then suddenly slowing from 18 to 10 or 11, can fail to notice the colossal momentum change.  Even a glancing blow would've caused them to feel something - and that is not a glancing blow.

Quote

And regardless of fault, they got hit.  The Navy needs to figure out how to change bridge operations and culture to stop this from continuing to repeat.

WADR, no it doesn't.  What is repeating here?  An incident from five years ago?  Truth is, merchant ships bash into each other relatively often, and unless they spill oil on an American coastline, never make headlines.  The US Navy is already the most paranoid maritime institution in the world.  (Navies like the Brits have similar procedures and requirements.....but also let the crew drink.  Tiebreaker to the US.)  There is a zero-tolerance policy for running the ship aground or hitting things and multiple people are always fired and others disciplined.  Nobody has more watchstanders at any given time.  There are generally about 16 or so people standing watch on the bridge, topside, and in the CIC, on routine operations, and twice that going into and out of port or in close-quarters maneuvering.  Proper procedures are massively detailed.  Roles and duties are very precisely defined.  And for the people really running things - the CO, XO, Nav, and JOs who will be put in charge - you simply wouldn't believe how beaten in with an anvil is the lesson DON'T HIT OTHER THINGS.  "Situational awareness" is all but surgically implanted in the mind.  You live, breathe, eat, drink, and sleep it.  And just in case you didn't get enough of it, there are multitudes of classroom lessons involving case studies - i.e., what went wrong in just about every Navy-involved collision or grounding you can think of.  Which is possible because of the exhaustive investigations the Navy does whenever it happens.

There is not much more the Navy can do.  Occasionally - very occasionally - there are slip-ups.  Generally they happen when the mission is given too much priority over the overall picture in the minds of the watchstanders.  Only one I can think of offhand was the result of actual bad procedure - the rest were caused by distractions, mainly, carrying out the current evolution at the expense of the big picture.  In this case, I don't know how you miss a huge freighter, and there was nothing going on other than routine night steaming, since the CO was in his cabin.  We'll find out eventually.  But in any case, the Navy can handle it without massive changes to what it does.

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All this stuff seems to be above my pay grade.  Sometimes I think I am something of a rube.

I am still trying to understand what happened when The USS BELKNAP CG-26 rammed

The USS JOHN F KENNEDY on November 22, 1975.

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Besides the potential fuel changeover issues.  (It could have been a factor, or perhaps not)  Here are some more factors that could have led to the delay by the ACX ship in both returning to the scene and to reporting the accident.

1) Heavily travelled shipping lanes may have been far more crowded than you might imagine when merely following a single vessel's track. They still had to avoid other ships traveling in their lane and the opposing lane.

2) The shock, confusion and damage assessment on one's own vessel means minutes can pass before the full extent of the damage could be known.  (when one contacts a coast guard or other authority, many questions are immediately asked, gathering the information and ascertaining your own vessel's safety and condition and crew well being takes time--- more than armchair sailors might imagine.

3) Consider that the Navy vessel was without a captain, had injured people and was fighting for it's life in damage control would likely make responding to the other vessel a bit of a low priority, as well as similarly trying to even know what type of assistance might be needed or useful. 

4) Possibly the severity of the incident wasn't fully understood until someone on the container ship could actually get forward to find out.  This takes time to get folks up, dressed, grab their radio, get their shoes on, hustle up 900' of deck and 3-7 ladders (deck levels) and actually give a report beyond, oh shit.

Whatever the delay, making a report to the 'authorities' is waaaay down the list of immediate priorities...  in fact, calling 'the office' comes before that typically unless there is imminent life safety at stake (there was, but not aboard the ACX ship and they may not yet have known).  The Navy ship may have declined assistance.  Frankly, there was little else another large ship could even do, apart from standing by for picking up survivors in the water.  (if I were the Navy, I'd likely have not wanted them to come back anywhere near me)

Since I have no way of knowing where or how time may have been wasted, I cannot condemn nor defend their actions.  

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Perhaps a one-step better translation . . . . 

"This is my English translation of the same report by Reuters in Japan in Japanese.
ACX Crystal captain wrote to the company that while cruising to Tokyo bay at 18 knots, TWO watch crews of ACX found the destroyer on 40 degree port side 3NM in distance around 1:15AM. 5 minutes later the destroyer suddenly started moving and continued on their collision course. While manually steering, ACX gave caution to the navy ship by turning on/off the light without any reaction. then decided to take hard starboard turn for collision avoidance but both ships crashed around 1:30AM. 
Takeshi from Yokohama"

Probably still not perfectly accurate representation of details from the actual captain's report
 

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8 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

Perhaps a one-step better translation . . . . 

"This is my English translation of the same report by Reuters in Japan in Japanese.
ACX Crystal captain wrote to the company that while cruising to Tokyo bay at 18 knots, TWO watch crews of ACX found the destroyer on 40 degree port side 3NM in distance around 1:15AM. 5 minutes later the destroyer suddenly started moving and continued on their collision course. While manually steering, ACX gave caution to the navy ship by turning on/off the light without any reaction. then decided to take hard starboard turn for collision avoidance but both ships crashed around 1:30AM. 
Takeshi from Yokohama"

Probably still not perfectly accurate representation of details from the actual captain's report
 

It makes a hell of a lot more sense than the Reuters report..

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It is also generally confirm-able from the data recorder . . . voice record will be able to confirm two watch stander's - they would certainly be talking to each other, Radar data will confirm comments on Destroyer stopped and then give way collision track, and heading (and possibly direct rudder info) will confirm hard over before collision. 

JCG must now be asking Navy what the hell they were doing.

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If a navy destroyer came to a stop during the night then reset another course and speed.  The CO, XO, and navigator would have all been summoned to the bridge.  When the CO heard those engines stop or start he would have bolted naked fo the bridge with no delay.

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So it could be that Fitz thought they are OK and can accelerate just in front of ACX (is that something they would do?, well Porter tried), but ACX thought they are going to hit Fitz and turned hard to starboard on the last minute (which is what you are supposed to do). So maybe there would not have been a collision, if ACX did nothing OR Fitzt didn't accelerate, which takes some time to notice from ACX when the is no AIS.

I find it quite strange USN is giving so little information about this. It has given a lot of information about some parts (e.g. who died,  that they were trapped inside and damage that was caused), but none related to the cause of the collision. I think if this would happen to the Finnish Navy it would be vice versa. They would give all the information about the ship course and speed, but would never give the names of the casualities (the family might). Must be a cultural difference.

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Stop the fuel change over speculation.  It is swapped before entering port not for maneuvering.  Main engines are kept hot at all times in port unless the ship is going to be laid up or maintenance performed.  The Bridge was free to change bells at any time and the engines would have responded.

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11 hours ago, coyotepup said:

No way the crew of a 30,000 ton container ship carrying its weight in cargo and moving at 18 knots, then suddenly slowing from 18 to 10 or 11, can fail to notice the colossal momentum change.  Even a glancing blow would've caused them to feel something - and that is not a glancing blow.

WADR, no it doesn't.  What is repeating here?  An incident from five years ago?  Truth is, merchant ships bash into each other relatively often, and unless they spill oil on an American coastline, never make headlines.  The US Navy is already the most paranoid maritime institution in the world.  (Navies like the Brits have similar procedures and requirements.....but also let the crew drink.  Tiebreaker to the US.)  There is a zero-tolerance policy for running the ship aground or hitting things and multiple people are always fired and others disciplined.  Nobody has more watchstanders at any given time.  There are generally about 16 or so people standing watch on the bridge, topside, and in the CIC, on routine operations, and twice that going into and out of port or in close-quarters maneuvering.  Proper procedures are massively detailed.  Roles and duties are very precisely defined.  And for the people really running things - the CO, XO, Nav, and JOs who will be put in charge - you simply wouldn't believe how beaten in with an anvil is the lesson DON'T HIT OTHER THINGS.  "Situational awareness" is all but surgically implanted in the mind.  You live, breathe, eat, drink, and sleep it.  And just in case you didn't get enough of it, there are multitudes of classroom lessons involving case studies - i.e., what went wrong in just about every Navy-involved collision or grounding you can think of.  Which is possible because of the exhaustive investigations the Navy does whenever it happens.

There is not much more the Navy can do.  Occasionally - very occasionally - there are slip-ups.  Generally they happen when the mission is given too much priority over the overall picture in the minds of the watchstanders.  Only one I can think of offhand was the result of actual bad procedure - the rest were caused by distractions, mainly, carrying out the current evolution at the expense of the big picture.  In this case, I don't know how you miss a huge freighter, and there was nothing going on other than routine night steaming, since the CO was in his cabin.  We'll find out eventually.  But in any case, the Navy can handle it without massive changes to what it does.

I think its largely accepted as a fact that US Navy JOs are pretty darn sleep deprived.  Its a SWO culture; is that fair?  Its clearly not Navy Aviation's culture or USAF's culture because of the risk.  So why is it the SWO culture where equally high cost assets are at risk as are more lives?  Might it also be fair to say that the bridge is run in a manner ideally suited for combat... how many people in your ear?  Is this ideal when safe navigation is the only or primary concern?  We also might ask about a jack of all trades mentality vs a focus on navigation solely. 

So its clear I am not saying that any of this contributed to the accident.  And you would be hard pressed to find a bigger supporter of USN.  My wife and I have about ~15x4=60 plus 1 of our own reasons for that.  But the bottom line is 7 sailors are dead and that need not be.  And we seem to be hitting a fair number of things, or getting hit, or shooting down things we shouldn't.  You may be right... a Navy accident is going to get more press than your average commercial shipping collision so maybe we just appear to be somewhat accident prone.  That said I am curious to try to track down (if such stats even exist) Navy vs commercial shipping collision rates (per 100,000nm or similar).  But even if similar, we gotta do better than this...  we gotta.

Maybe its so that "there is not much more that Navy can do" but I am not ready to accept that. Not nearly.

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Wess - Speaking as a taxpayer in the USA - I think it is of more concern when ships we collectively pay for hit things vs. a Liberian ship hitting a Panamanian ship.  IMHO

EDIT No idea if this is an issue, but I went through CRM (cockpit resource management) back in the day and this has spread to ships with BRM (bridge resource management). Both basically try to solve the problem of a lower ranked person watching a disaster unfolding and either being ignored or feeling like they have no ability to say anything. Does the Navy have anything like this?

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2 hours ago, sailman said:

Stop the fuel change over speculation.  It is swapped before entering port not for maneuvering.  Main engines are kept hot at all times in port unless the ship is going to be laid up or maintenance performed.  The Bridge was free to change bells at any time and the engines would have responded.

Sorry but it is way more complicated than that.  With modern fuels 'hot" is know a very, very large and dangerous range..... Just the middle of night crew muster could be 15 minutes followed by another 15 minutes to send someone forward to look around. We have no idea on the limits and staff skills in the engine room at the time to "change bells". 

Ships switching from burning heavy fuel oil to low sulfur distillate fuel (0.1% S) prior entering a region with emission restrictions are required to deal with a huge temperature gradient in fuels added to the engine because heavy fuel oil must be heated before delivery to the engines and distillate is unheated. The main problem is thermal shock, which is exacerbated by very short changeover times. Switching fuels has to be done very carefully as a result of this temperature difference. For example, when switching from HFO to MGO (0.1% S), the temperature of the fuel entering the engine is reduced from a minimum of 95°C to 40°C. In practice, the engine load may be reduced to 25% - 40% of normal operating conditions and safe fuel switching should occur gradually over a 40 – 60 minute time period. As the fuel system is changed from HFO to low sulfur distillate, the cooler fuel must be introduced gradually so that the system temperature is lowered only about 20°C per minute to prevent thermal shock. Blended fuels with very different flash points result in irregular heat release upon combustion and fuel of an improper temperature leads to low ignition quality, causing degraded liner and piston ring condition. The fuel switching is to be carried out by trained, competent crew members while the vessel is in a safe location, i.e., away from traffic zones and channels. Adequate notice must be provided to bridge personnel and the vessel should be under maneuvering alert conditions, so that, should a blackout or power fluctuation occur, the ship’s location, momentum, control and maneuverability will not adversely affect the safety of the ship.

 

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A couple thoughts Wess,

One is that with no blue water sea control challenges right now, Navy ships operate largely in the littorals.  That's where our allies and our interests lie. Blue water is mostly transits now.

Two is you still have to train like your gonna fight.  So while you're in the littorals, you are not necessarily just "safely navigating" like a commercial merchant is.  If what they say about Fitz being stopped is true, it may be because of some training evolution taking place...

The SWO community does need to look at the "sleep deprived" issue.  There is a reason for "crew rest" requirements for aviators.  That said, typically there is at most 2 or 3 pilots, and in many aircraft, 1 pilot, flying the aircraft.  So he/they have little backup.  On a destroyer there is alot more backup that is supposed to help prevent something from being missed.  Unfortunately, in the SWO culture, sleep deprived ahd become a badge of honor in some ways...that said, Medical School/Internship for Doctors is the same, and they certainly have peoples lives in their hands.

Still now excuse, and the Navy needs to do a through investigation into this...

 

Joakim, I think the Navy is waiting until it actually has all the facts...rather than giving out bits and pieces of testimony from individual people.  Plus as Fitz has 20 or so people on watch at the time, the Navy has 10x as many people to interview/investigate, etc.  Plus has to form a credible investigation team and fly them to the Fitz, etc, etc.  Letting out parts of info, that may or may not be correct, or in context, doesn't really help anyone..

Crash

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Look this up... how many days of total sea time did the Navy Captain sleeping in his bunk have?  The current reality of our Navy is very little sea time and very, very short periods of time in grade before they person moves onto another duty to master.  Buried somewhere in the final report will show junior officers on deck with very little combined sea time.   Remember the old adage...  "time in the boat"....   then "head out of the boat"....  

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4 minutes ago, Canal Bottom said:

Sorry but it is way more complicated than that.  With modern fuels 'hot" is know a very, very large and dangerous range..... Just the middle of night crew muster could be 15 minutes followed by another 15 minutes to send someone forward to look around. We have no idea on the limits and staff skills in the engine room at the time to "change bells". 

Ships switching from burning heavy fuel oil to low sulfur distillate fuel (0.1% S) prior entering a region with emission restrictions are required to deal with a huge temperature gradient in fuels added to the engine because heavy fuel oil must be heated before delivery to the engines and distillate is unheated. The main problem is thermal shock, which is exacerbated by very short changeover times. Switching fuels has to be done very carefully as a result of this temperature difference. For example, when switching from HFO to MGO (0.1% S), the temperature of the fuel entering the engine is reduced from a minimum of 95°C to 40°C. In practice, the engine load may be reduced to 25% - 40% of normal operating conditions and safe fuel switching should occur gradually over a 40 – 60 minute time period. As the fuel system is changed from HFO to low sulfur distillate, the cooler fuel must be introduced gradually so that the system temperature is lowered only about 20°C per minute to prevent thermal shock. Blended fuels with very different flash points result in irregular heat release upon combustion and fuel of an improper temperature leads to low ignition quality, causing degraded liner and piston ring condition. The fuel switching is to be carried out by trained, competent crew members while the vessel is in a safe location, i.e., away from traffic zones and channels. Adequate notice must be provided to bridge personnel and the vessel should be under maneuvering alert conditions, so that, should a blackout or power fluctuation occur, the ship’s location, momentum, control and maneuverability will not adversely affect the safety of the ship.

 

 Canal,

  They were within 5-8 hours of port,  why would you assume they were running heavy fuel at the time of the incident? 

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9 minutes ago, Canal Bottom said:

Sorry but it is way more complicated than that.  With modern fuels 'hot" is know a very, very large and dangerous range..... Just the middle of night crew muster could be 15 minutes followed by another 15 minutes to send someone forward to look around. We have no idea on the limits and staff skills in the engine room at the time to "change bells". 

Ships switching from burning heavy fuel oil to low sulfur distillate fuel (0.1% S) prior entering a region with emission restrictions are required to deal with a huge temperature gradient in fuels added to the engine because heavy fuel oil must be heated before delivery to the engines and distillate is unheated. The main problem is thermal shock, which is exacerbated by very short changeover times. Switching fuels has to be done very carefully as a result of this temperature difference. For example, when switching from HFO to MGO (0.1% S), the temperature of the fuel entering the engine is reduced from a minimum of 95°C to 40°C. In practice, the engine load may be reduced to 25% - 40% of normal operating conditions and safe fuel switching should occur gradually over a 40 – 60 minute time period. As the fuel system is changed from HFO to low sulfur distillate, the cooler fuel must be introduced gradually so that the system temperature is lowered only about 20°C per minute to prevent thermal shock. Blended fuels with very different flash points result in irregular heat release upon combustion and fuel of an improper temperature leads to low ignition quality, causing degraded liner and piston ring condition. The fuel switching is to be carried out by trained, competent crew members while the vessel is in a safe location, i.e., away from traffic zones and channels. Adequate notice must be provided to bridge personnel and the vessel should be under maneuvering alert conditions, so that, should a blackout or power fluctuation occur, the ship’s location, momentum, control and maneuverability will not adversely affect the safety of the ship.

 

That has nothing to do with changing throttle.  More than likely this is an un-manned engine room with full bridge control.  If the Mate on Watch orders a bell change he will ring it and change the throttle position, he will probably contact either the C/E or Engineer on Watch to let him know that he may require assistance.  The engines will respond and the ship will maneuver it is not complicated.

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2 minutes ago, Raked Aft\\ said:

 Canal,

  They were within 5-8 hours of port,  why would you assume they were running heavy fuel at the time of the incident? 

Save money which is everything in the shipping industry this year.  Ship owners are scrapping ten year old ships to save money and harvest the cash in the steel.  The Crystal Captain claimed in writing they had "confusion" on the bridge.  I take that to mean they team on the bridge or even the engine room were not positive in the ability to reduce revs.  Maybe the switchover was started before collision and before the last watch change.  Once the process starts the fuel must be changed slowly at a controlled rate.  That can be one hour or on the more conservative boats more than 48 hours. 

With all bells a possibility.  Confusion should have meant "stop this boat". 

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Crash  -  Fair comments.  Will just add that I think you can find aviation platforms with crew sizes similar to those on watch on the bridge.  One group well rested and the other not.  But its not my intent to go down a rabbit hole or add to speculation.  Just venting I guess and that ain't helping no one.

Canal - Sea time, time in grade, varied duties, is in part what I was getting at with the jack of all trades comment.  But I disagree w you re fuel being an issue preventing the freighter from rendering assistance.  

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12 hours ago, estarzinger said:

Perhaps a one-step better translation . . . . 

"This is my English translation of the same report by Reuters in Japan in Japanese.
ACX Crystal captain wrote to the company that while cruising to Tokyo bay at 18 knots, TWO watch crews of ACX found the destroyer on 40 degree port side 3NM in distance around 1:15AM. 5 minutes later the destroyer suddenly started moving and continued on their collision course. While manually steering, ACX gave caution to the navy ship by turning on/off the light without any reaction. then decided to take hard starboard turn for collision avoidance but both ships crashed around 1:30AM. 
Takeshi from Yokohama"

Probably still not perfectly accurate representation of details from the actual captain's report
 

Much more believable.  If true it also shows how our media outlets tend to fill in the gaps with their own "facts" these days. 

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“In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship's captain said the ACX Crystal had signaled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald "suddenly" steamed on to a course to cross its path.

The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula's report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reuters."

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Unless the Crystal knew they were running illegal bunkers too close to shore.  The switch over would need to be done and the fuel pumps cleared before the Coast Guard and other authorities come aboard for the bow to stern inspections that always come with a collision in local waters.  Fuel is no longer a simple thing.  

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1 minute ago, Boo-Yah said:

Unless the Crystal knew they were running illegal bunkers too close to shore.  The switch over would need to be done and the fuel pumps cleared before the Coast Guard and other authorities come aboard for the bow to stern inspections that always come with a collision in local waters.  Fuel is no longer a simple thing.  

exactly,

  and why they probably switched fuels during the day, prior to the accident, while in open water and not in the TSS of Tokyo...

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Just now, Raked Aft\\ said:

exactly,

  and why they probably switched fuels during the day, prior to the accident, while in open water and not in the TSS of Tokyo...

Then with two watches on the bridge witnessing a major collision on the bow would order all engines stop until situational awareness was reached.  The throttles and bells stayed on and open for 30 minutes with a bow opened to the sea....  explain.... 

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4 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

Then with two watches on the bridge witnessing a major collision on the bow would order all engines stop until situational awareness was reached.  The throttles and bells stayed on and open for 30 minutes with a bow opened to the sea....  explain.... 

  Not a clue,  certainly a mystery.

   As has been said, the ACX's bridge and telemetry data will have the answers.  Question is whether that or anything concrete will be released.

   My guess is that we will never hear what truly happened that night...

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31 minutes ago, Wess said:

Crash  -  Fair comments.  Will just add that I think you can find aviation platforms with crew sizes similar to those on watch on the bridge.  One group well rested and the other not.  But its not my intent to go down a rabbit hole or add to speculation.  Just venting I guess and that ain't helping no one.

Canal - Sea time, time in grade, varied duties, is in part what I was getting at with the jack of all trades comment.  But I disagree w you re fuel being an issue preventing the freighter from rendering assistance.  

Wess, you can. EP-3s for example (which I also flew) have a crew of 23.  But even on that plane, only 2 pilots can be in the seats at a time...plus Nav, (who can't see out to help with collision avoidance) and SEVAL & EVAL (who also can't see out and are typically running EW mission, or writing reports, not monitoring maneuvering and flying.  Rest of the crew are mission specialists not involved in the aviating part at all...

Not saying SWO culture is right or good.  Its why I left SWO to go fly.  SWOs eat their young.  But...there still is alot more help, than in a plane...which in this case may prove to be part of the problem, I realize...

Crash

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44 minutes ago, Crash said:

Joakim, I think the Navy is waiting until it actually has all the facts...rather than giving out bits and pieces of testimony from individual people.  Plus as Fitz has 20 or so people on watch at the time, the Navy has 10x as many people to interview/investigate, etc.  Plus has to form a credible investigation team and fly them to the Fitz, etc, etc.  Letting out parts of info, that may or may not be correct, or in context, doesn't really help anyone..

Surely after ten days they know excactly the track, course and speed of the Fitz and where and when the collision happened. Also they know about possible techincal problems on the Fitz before the collision. They may not know why someone chose to sail that track at that speed and what everybody awake did and were supposed to do, but that is not a reason to not let out some facts already well known.

Looking back at the Porter collision they never really let out that kind of facts. They did release the bridge audio, but that was nine months after the collision. The Fitz collision resulted to 7 deaths so maybe they are required to be more open. In Finland Navy/Army would give much more information already the following day. At least easy facts like where were they coming from and heading to. Were they on routine task or doing something special. Most likely also something about the actual collision like OOW was totally unaware of ACX.

It doesn't really help anything but the PR image. Now I feel they are just trying to hide the facts and hope media will not pay as much attension when they must let out something.

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16 minutes ago, Crash said:

SWOs eat their young.

That certainly was the word on the street years ago.  Word from many now though is that part of the culture has changed which is a good thing.  The community seems to be much more sought after and respected these days.  YMMV I suppose...

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Unashamedly plagiarized from Cruiser's Forum:

Quote:

Here's a link to the Japanese-language article on the Reuters Japan website:

https://jp.reuters.com/article/fitzgerald-idJPKBN19H12U

And here's my own (entirely unauthorized) quick translation of it. I make my living as a translator from Japanese, but I give no guarantees as to absence of errors, and in any case, there are always any number of ways a given Japanese sentence can be rendered in English. Here I tried to be as literal as possible, though. The article also (as is often the case in Japanese) does not clearly differentiate between quotations and the rest of the article. The first paragraph is basically a summary, and the second and third paragraphs are descriptions of the content of the report. From "In this collision" onwards, it's back to Reuters' journalistic writing.
----------
Container ship tried to warn U.S. vessel Fitzgerald by light signals 

[Tokyo, June 26, Reuters] The content of a report submitted by the captain of the container ship that collided with an Aegis class destroyer of the U.S. Navy off the Izu peninsula to the owners of the container ship has come to light. The container ship spotted the Aegis vessel on its port side and tried to attract its attention by means of flashing a light, but the U.S. ship maintained its course. The container vessel then tried to turn to the right to avoid a collision, but there was not enough time. 

According to the report, the Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal was heading towards Tokyo Bay at a speed of 18 knots (about 33 km/h). At 01:15 a.m. on June 17, two lookouts spotted the Aegis class vessel Fitzgerald at 40 degrees off the port side at a distance of 3 nm (about 5.6 km). 

About 5 minutes later, the Aegis vessel "suddenly" moved [from the Japanese it is not clear whether this was a move from a stationary condition or a change in movement, i.e. a course change]. Because a collision seemed likely on this course, the container ship, while manually steering, tried to attract the attention of the other ship by flashing a light. However, the American vessel seemed to maintain its course. The container ship therefore turned the rudder hard to starboard, but at 01:30 a.m. the two ships collided. 

In this collision, seven members of the crew of the Aegis vessel lost their lives, making it the worst tragedy for a U.S. navy vessel since the bomb attack on an Aegis class vessel in Yemen in 2000. The captain of the Fitzgerald was wounded in his own quarters, which suggests the possibility that no warning was sounded prior to the collision. 

The owners of the ACX Crystal, Dainichi-Invest Corporation (based in Kobe, Hyogo Pref.) declined to respond to inquiries by Reuters, saying that they could not provide any comment in relation to an ongoing investigation. The U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Japan Coast Guard which are investigating the accident also declined to comment. 


Read more at http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?480803-Woops!-Us-navy-collision/page4#cUs07hJC2EEOBsUA.99

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7 hours ago, Joakim said:

So it could be that Fitz thought they are OK and can accelerate just in front of ACX (is that something they would do?, well Porter tried), but ACX thought they are going to hit Fitz and turned hard to starboard on the last minute (which is what you are supposed to do). So maybe there would not have been a collision, if ACX did nothing OR Fitzt didn't accelerate, which takes some time to notice from ACX when the is no AIS.

I find it quite strange USN is giving so little information about this. It has given a lot of information about some parts (e.g. who died,  that they were trapped inside and damage that was caused), but none related to the cause of the collision. I think if this would happen to the Finnish Navy it would be vice versa. They would give all the information about the ship course and speed, but would never give the names of the casualities (the family might). Must be a cultural difference.

I find it strange that you would expect an investigation that has significant legal ramifications to release incomplete and partial date into the maw of places like this thread. The final accident investigation conclusions will be released.  The Legal (Judge Advocate's) investigation is somewhat more privileged and witnesses and subject have some significant protections under the law but any legal sanctions (as opposed to administrative) will flow from this investigation. Both are done in parallel. 

Based just on these threads, the clown show has concluded that the Navy is entirely at fault, had lights out, was operating in a super secret "stealth mode" (on a 25 year old ship) and conducting a special exercise while the captain was asleep and with normal peacetime watches set. 

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Your attorneys will always want you and those associated with you to keep all mouths shut.  In this case the US Navy ordered silence from the crew of the USS Fitzgerald and everyone near them or the boat.  

Somehow those with a Navy twist leaked this story:

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/freighter-autopilot-hit-us-destroyer/

The response from the Japanese owners and filipino crew was to leak some of the Crystal's story.  

Next move US Navy or the family members from the crew who certainly have pick up more facts from the boat that night...

 

 

Under strict orders not to talk about what they saw that night, the crew of the Fitzgerald is mostly keeping its counsel while grieving the loss of its shipmates. But one sailor, contacted via social media, offered what may endure as an epitaph for the accident.

"All I can say is," the sailor wrote to The New York Times, "somebody wasn't paying attention."

 

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Regarding the Fitzgerald being stopped: It appears that the Japanese phrase is a bit ambiguous.  There is a sentence "About 5 minutes later, the Aegis vessel suddenly moved . . . " and from the Japanese it is not clear whether this was a move from a stationary condition or a change in movement, i.e. a course change.


There is some speculation that we might actually be dealing with an English to Japanese summary back to English translation here, based on the likelihood that a Philippine Captain would be well trained in English and consider it 'the official language of navigation'. But that is just speculation, and this Captain might also have excellent Japanese. 


Regarding this navy maneuver:   There is speculation that it looks/feels a bit like a helo recovery - turn to align with wind, bridge overly focused on helo, CiC distracted by drill.  Some of you here will have a better idea than I if that is a plausible scenario or not.


Regarding the Crystal maneuver after the collision: The Merchant Master's over on GCaptain seem to think it is a reasonable/plausible maneuver and time frame given the incident. I do not know enough to have an opinion on that.

The Crystal captain has been 'released from the investigation' (translated from Japanese) and flew back home. Speculation, but I guess that the worst charges considered (professional and/or criminal negligence ) have been dropped.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IB, I think we all (or most) know that both vessels were at (some) fault.  I don't see in the thread it 'concluded' that Navy had their lights out. Sure there is speculation that they might have, based on the observation that they do in fact do it occasionally in drills/exercises and operations - but I personally doubt it given what we have seen of the Crystal Captain's report. I also don't see it 'concluded' a super secret stealth mode, but these destroyers do (according to the public specs) have 1/50 the radar cross section of the vessel they replaced.  I hope they will, but it is not clear to me that Navy will in fact release their final investigation(s) report(s). I suspect we are more likely to see the JCG and USCG reports.  Chill a bit :) all these accident threads go thru this - Navy, merchant, yacht accidents all get thrashed and usually it is educational (to a greater or lesser degree)

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6 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

Regarding the Fitzgerald being stopped: It appears that the Japanese phrase is a bit ambiguous.  There is a sentence "About 5 minutes later, the Aegis vessel suddenly moved . . . " and from the Japanese it is not clear whether this was a move from a stationary condition or a change in movement, i.e. a course change.


There is some speculation that we might actually be dealing with an English to Japanese summary back to English translation here, based on the likelihood that a Philippine Captain would be well trained in English and consider it 'the official language of navigation'. But that is just speculation, and this Captain might also have excellent Japanese. 


Regarding this navy maneuver:   There is speculation that it looks/feels a bit like a helo recovery - turn to align with wind, bridge overly focused on helo, CiC distracted by drill.  Some of you here will have a better idea than I if that is a plausible scenario or not.


Regarding the Crystal maneuver after the collision: The Merchant Master's over on GCaptain seem to think it is a reasonable/plausible maneuver and time frame given the incident. I do not know enough to have an opinion on that.

The Crystal captain has been 'released from the investigation' (translated from Japanese) and flew back home.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

IB, I think we all (or most) know that both vessels were at (some) fault.  I don't see in the thread it 'concluded' that Navy had their lights out. Sure there is speculation that they might have, based on the observation that they do in fact do it occasionally in drills/exercises and operations - but I personally doubt it given what we have seen of the Crystal Captain's report. I also don't see it 'concluded' a super secret stealth mode, but these destroyers do (according to the public specs) have 1/50 the radar cross section of the vessel they replaced.  I hope they will, but it is not clear to me that Navy will in fact release their final investigation(s) report(s). I suspect we are more likely to see the JCG and USCG reports.  Chill a bit :) all these accident threads go thru this - Navy, merchant, yacht accidents all get thrashed and usually it is educational (to a greater or lesser degree)

The Navy Skipper was in his cabin. Navy skipper do not stay in their cabin during flight operations.  If anything is going on the captain comes to the bridge.  That includes stopping, turning, or anything other than a predefined minor course correction to maintain separation. 

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^^ well Boo, factually they (apparently - is provable from the Crystal data) made a meaningful course change and the Captain was not on the bridge.  So I don't know where that leaves your absolute statement.

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4 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

^^ well Boo, factually they (apparently - is provable from the Crystal data) made a meaningful course change and the Captain was not on the bridge.  So I don't know where that leaves your absolute statement.

With no credible course and speed ever provided for any of the USS Fitzgerald's voyage we really have no idea if the Fitzgerald altered course in any way.  What was the course and speed of the Fitzgerald at 15, 10, and 5 miles separation from the Crystal?

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^^ what we know is that the Crystal captain says the Fitzgerald changed course (or accelerated from a stop), AND that is provably true or false using the Crystal data that the JCG has, so I personally doubt he is lying.

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OK ..so no votes in for Roger the Cabin Boy???...alright so he is off the hook. We are now getting somewhere thank God.

Therefore by the process of elimination (and this excludes the grassy knoll theory), in this most erudite of threads, and having absolutely no idea of the grey boats comparitive position, course and speed, that now leaves Seamen Stains as the only possible culprit. Puzzle solved.

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2 hours ago, Parma said:
 

“In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship's captain said the ACX Crystal had signaled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald "suddenly" steamed on to a course to cross its path.

The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula's report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reuters."

That 10 minutes could have been a lot, lot less.  A minute before collision can seem like ten....

Containership's VDR will set the timeline and ship's heading(s) straight. 

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48 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

Regarding this navy maneuver:   There is speculation that it looks/feels a bit like a helo recovery - turn to align with wind, bridge overly focused on helo, CiC distracted by drill.  Some of you here will have a better idea than I if that is a plausible scenario or not.

I seriously doubt it.  FITZ is a Flight I DDG - no helo hanger, thus no embarked aircraft.  You can visit but you can't stay.  No one visits at 0130.

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2 hours ago, Wess said:

I think its largely accepted as a fact that US Navy JOs are pretty darn sleep deprived.  Its a SWO culture; is that fair?  Its clearly not Navy Aviation's culture or USAF's culture because of the risk.  So why is it the SWO culture where equally high cost assets are at risk as are more lives?  Might it also be fair to say that the bridge is run in a manner ideally suited for combat... how many people in your ear?  Is this ideal when safe navigation is the only or primary concern?  We also might ask about a jack of all trades mentality vs a focus on navigation solely. 

So its clear I am not saying that any of this contributed to the accident.  And you would be hard pressed to find a bigger supporter of USN.  My wife and I have about ~15x4=60 plus 1 of our own reasons for that.  But the bottom line is 7 sailors are dead and that need not be.  And we seem to be hitting a fair number of things, or getting hit, or shooting down things we shouldn't.  You may be right... a Navy accident is going to get more press than your average commercial shipping collision so maybe we just appear to be somewhat accident prone.  That said I am curious to try to track down (if such stats even exist) Navy vs commercial shipping collision rates (per 100,000nm or similar).  But even if similar, we gotta do better than this...  we gotta.

Maybe its so that "there is not much more that Navy can do" but I am not ready to accept that. Not nearly.

You're right, sleep deprivation - at least as compared to the civilian world and the aviators - is a significant aspect of SWO culture.  That said, it's not as detrimental as it sounds.  One tiny lapse of attention in the air and you're instantly dead.  Not the same at sea.  Collisions and groundings are both expensive and embarrassing - but rarely deadly.  Aviation incidents happen with rather more frequency and are almost always deadly.

"Run in a manner ideally suited for combat" - no, I wouldn't say that.  That's what GQ is for.  In normal steaming, which is what was happening here**, you have: the OOD (in charge); the JOOD (training to be in charge); the conn (giving helm orders and being a lookout); the QMOW (doing nitty-gritty navigation work like keeping the plot, the log, and providing updates on the track); the BMOW (carrying out the watch routine); a helmsman (physically steering); and lookouts.  Some may call it overkill, but everyone has a job that they ought not be distracted from to try and do another, and truth be told it consistently amazes me how a merchant ship can get by with just the one dude most of the time.  You'd think maybe two or three.  Much less to think about, I suppose, since they only ever have one mission.

**Educated guess, even in a thread where we try to discourage that: the Fitz had left Yokosuka earlier that evening and was steaming out to a specified position where they'd be conducting operations of some kind the next day.  When given a place to go and a track to get there, and it's not going in or out of port directly, OODs are almost always left to their own devices on the bridge, and it's normal for the CO to be sleeping.

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1 minute ago, BrianM v2 said:

I seriously doubt it.  FITZ is a Flight I DDG - no helo hanger, thus no embarked aircraft.  You can visit but you can't stay.  No one visits at 0130.

Could be someone had to do some night quals and the Fitz was available.  But then, I think either Mom or Dad would've been on the bridge.

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I doubt the Fitz was conducting flight operations in a TSS zone at night.

it is possible they were crossing through the TSS zone, slowed to wait for a gap in traffic, and then accelerated/changed course to dash through a gap in traffic...just like crossing a busy street...and didn't see ACX. 

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51 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

Could be someone had to do some night quals and the Fitz was available.  But then, I think either Mom or Dad would've been on the bridge.

Bit surprised they were not when crossing a TSS and the trigger CPAs are almost certainly going to be hit, no?

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12 minutes ago, Wess said:

Bit surprised they were not when crossing a TSS and the trigger CPAs are almost certainly going to be hit, no?

They were probably watching CPAs, but somehow overlooked ACX...possibly due to the amount of traffic.

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I enjoyed the discussion on heavy oil and heating requirements.  Way more then I knew.   

Maybe somebody could expand on standard training for securing compartments, since that seems to have some media attention.   I understand the Navy has three classes, based on the ship's material condition.   Something like this http://www.usshancockcv19.com/navalmaterialconditions.htm.    My impression is unlike the Army Blackhawk Down tactic of risking resources to recover bodies or rescue one wounded man, the Navy retained a harsher view, perhaps left over from WW II.   The ship was the priority, not the crew.   That hard reality would make sense to me, they may someday have to fight a real war with real sinking ships again.  If the ship goes down, not only is a potentially vital asset lost, but in the Atlantic during WW II for example it was often too risky to stop and recover swimmers (Laconia).  I can understand the danger of leaving a hatch open til the last second and being unable to close it against water pressure.  I can also imagine the horror of trapping a mate and leaving him to die.    What is Navy training in such a case?  

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44 minutes ago, RKoch said:

it is possible they were crossing through the TSS zone, slowed to wait for a gap in traffic, and then accelerated/changed course to dash through a gap in traffic...just like crossing a busy street...and didn't see ACX. 

That would make this collision even more equal to the Porter collision. They missed the next ship behind the first one's bow they marginally cleared. Looking at the VesselFinder video there is "WAN HAI 266". It's another container ship, slighly smaller than ACX. It was a going the same way with ACX about 1 nm to north of ACX track. The position of WAN HAI 266 freezes and jumps on the video, but it seems to be slightly ahead of ACX. So the Fitz crossing the TSS zone would first need to dealwith WAN HAI 266 and then ACX about 1 nm later. That 1 nm takes 3 minutes at 18 knots. There could well be more ships or smaller vessels between WAN HAI 266 and ACX, since AIS reception to VesseFinder is clearly far from 100% and not all vessels have AIS.

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9 minutes ago, Joakim said:

So the Fitz crossing the TSS zone would first need to dealwith WAN HAI 266 and then ACX about 1 nm later. That 1 nm takes 3 minutes at 18 knots.

It was about 3 min from the Porter crossing the first ship until it was hit by the next one! They noticed it about 2.5 minutes before the hit, but didn't have any reasonable plan to avoid. Instead they first slowed down and then accelerated with full power. Sounds scary similar!

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37 minutes ago, Lark said:

What is Navy training in such a case?  

Others here know much more but believe the short answer, and seen here is:

Ship

Shipmate

Self

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51 minutes ago, Lark said:

I enjoyed the discussion on heavy oil and heating requirements.  Way more then I knew.   

Maybe somebody could expand on standard training for securing compartments, since that seems to have some media attention.   I understand the Navy has three classes, based on the ship's material condition.   Something like this http://www.usshancockcv19.com/navalmaterialconditions.htm.    My impression is unlike the Army Blackhawk Down tactic of risking resources to recover bodies or rescue one wounded man, the Navy retained a harsher view, perhaps left over from WW II.   The ship was the priority, not the crew.   That hard reality would make sense to me, they may someday have to fight a real war with real sinking ships again.  If the ship goes down, not only is a potentially vital asset lost, but in the Atlantic during WW II for example it was often too risky to stop and recover swimmers (Laconia).  I can understand the danger of leaving a hatch open til the last second and being unable to close it against water pressure.  I can also imagine the horror of trapping a mate and leaving him to die.    What is Navy training in such a case?  

I will get flamed as even the Navy has snowflakes now.  But,  the collision alarm should have gone off evacuating that birthing area.  With the collision alarm or any call to general quarters the ship goes "condition zulu or Zebra" without delay.  Condition Z Every watertight door and hatch closed.  The senior person or senior damage control person at the door is burdened with giving everyone a chance to evacuate and closing that door before water reaches the next level making it impossible to close that door.  So at the first alarm that door should have been closed no matter who was on the other side of it.  If the compartment does not flood those on the other side are likely fine.  If water does fill the now locked off compartment closing the door likely saved the ship to keep fighting along with countless lives.  When in doubt close the door.  If you are unwilling to slam and dog hatches down you do not belong at sea in the Navy.  Your duty is to the ship, the CO, and the entire fleet and crew.  You and the boat must live to fight on.

If that is not clear enough for you.  You know from your damage training drills.  If you delay and do not get yourself on the other side of that next door.  A sailor will do your job for you and close that door with you stuck on the other side.  Like a fire in a structure.  Every able bodied male must get himself out without delay.  Drag the person next to you if you can.  Do not delay in getting the doors closed.  Once the water starts flowing closing the door and saving the ship will likely be impossible. 

One birthing area alone had a capacity of 160.  These are big spaces.  Someone will get fried for failing to see the peril, sound the alarm, and close those doors before the collision. 

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

Bit surprised they were not when crossing a TSS and the trigger CPAs are almost certainly going to be hit, no?

Well, a common misconception in this thread is that the CO always comes up to the bridge when notified of a close CPA.  A typical call has the OOD reporting a CPA within the rules in the standing orders.  There's usually a clipboard and grease pencil on the bridge with a standard report that the OOD or JOOD fills in and repeats verbatim to the captain.  It would have all kinds of info: current time, ship's speed, current contact distance/bearing/speed, distance/bearing/time of CPA, and so on.  If the CO is comfortable with the OOD's plan, he'll say so and roll over and go back to sleep.  If the CPA is too close for the CO's comfort, like if the OOD says "500 yards", he'll tell the OOD to fix it and call back.  Or slow down, fix it, and call back.  Or roll it over in his head for a sec and say "what's the CPA if you turn right 15 degrees?"  A good OOD will know what the CO is OK with and have that plan before he calls.  "Sir, I plan to slow to 8 knots for four minutes to allow the CPA to open to 3,000 yards."

But ultimately, I would say that as an OOD, if the CO has to roll up to the bridge personally to deal with a CPA, the OOD has not done his job.  CPA management is pretty fundamental and COs need for their bridge team to be able to figure that out at all times.

One possibility is that the CO's night orders required the OOD to call before crossing the TSS.  If not, it's a potential contributing factor.  It seems like a likely thing the CO would want an update on.

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13 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

One possibility is that the CO's night orders required the OOD to call before crossing the TSS. 

Thought that was SOP and that they came up for that post Porter. Could easily be wrong.

Stupid question: Does Navy SOP track contacts using AIS as one of the tools?

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17 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

Well, a common misconception in this thread is that the CO always comes up to the bridge when notified of a close CPA.  A typical call has the OOD reporting a CPA within the rules in the standing orders.  There's usually a clipboard and grease pencil on the bridge with a standard report that the OOD or JOOD fills in and repeats verbatim to the captain.  It would have all kinds of info: current time, ship's speed, current contact distance/bearing/speed, distance/bearing/time of CPA, and so on.  If the CO is comfortable with the OOD's plan, he'll say so and roll over and go back to sleep.  If the CPA is too close for the CO's comfort, like if the OOD says "500 yards", he'll tell the OOD to fix it and call back.  Or slow down, fix it, and call back.  Or roll it over in his head for a sec and say "what's the CPA if you turn right 15 degrees?"  A good OOD will know what the CO is OK with and have that plan before he calls.  "Sir, I plan to slow to 8 knots for four minutes to allow the CPA to open to 3,000 yards."

But ultimately, I would say that as an OOD, if the CO has to roll up to the bridge personally to deal with a CPA, the OOD has not done his job.  CPA management is pretty fundamental and COs need for their bridge team to be able to figure that out at all times.

One possibility is that the CO's night orders required the OOD to call before crossing the TSS.  If not, it's a potential contributing factor.  It seems like a likely thing the CO would want an update on.

The watch should have notice a collision was imminent and hit the collision alarm. That should have got the CO and everyone else out of their berths. That leaves the question no one it answering publicly yet.  When did the USS Fitzgerald at any level note the Crystal was there and on a collision course?  What actions were taken?  What alarms where sounded inside and outside the Fitzgerald? 

Under strict orders not to talk about what they saw that night, the crew of the Fitzgerald is mostly keeping its counsel while grieving the loss of its shipmates. But one sailor, contacted via social media, offered what may endure as an epitaph for the accident.

"All I can say is," the sailor wrote to The New York Times, "somebody wasn't paying attention."

 

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Saw a report via CNN attributed to a "defense official" according to a "very preliminary Navy analysis" that five of the seven dead on Fitzgerald  were assessed as "almost instantly incapacitated" by the impact and likely died quickly. So the visions of a crowd of guys scratching with their fingernails on a locked hatch probably isn't correct. It wouldn't surprise me if most of the deaths were due to blunt force trauma and not drowning.

Also I'm not sure of the layout of that particular berthing compartment (BrianM?) but I wouldn't be surprised if there was an escape scuttle somewhere in the overhead where if someone were still conscious and able to move, they would at least have a shot at escaping the flooded compartment. A compartment like that probably wouldn't flood solid, there would likely be a pocket of trapped air in the overhead.

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2 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

The watch should have notice a collision was imminent and hit the collision alarm. That should have got the CO and everyone else out of their berths. That leaves the question no one it answering publicly yet.  When did the USS Fitzgerald at any level note the Crystal was there and on a collision course?  What actions were taken?  What alarms where sounded inside and outside the Fitzgerald? 

Under strict orders not to talk about what they saw that night, the crew of the Fitzgerald is mostly keeping its counsel while grieving the loss of its shipmates. But one sailor, contacted via social media, offered what may endure as an epitaph for the accident.

"All I can say is," the sailor wrote to The New York Times, "somebody wasn't paying attention."

 

I have to say, about the only thing that frosts me more than fact-free speculation about what happened and why in cases like this is the "woulda-shoulda" from people who are in no way qualified to Monday-morning quarterback the actions of the people who were there and actually had the responsibility.

Anybody who has never stood bridge watches on a Navy ship is less qualified than I am to judge what the CO, XO, OOD, etc. should have done that night on Fitzgerald. And since I wasn't there, I readily acknowledge that I am not in a position to say what should have been done or what I would have done in their places.

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14 minutes ago, Wess said:

Thought that was SOP and that they came up for that post Porter. Could easily be wrong.

Stupid question: Does Navy SOP track contacts using AIS as one of the tools?

AIS-enabled radar wasn't part of the standard equipment of either of the ships I was on.  They were both pretty old.  Newer ships may have it, I don't know.  But both had had it installed at some point in the past, at a past CO's direction out of whatever discretionary budget they have to play with, and using it was extremely common.

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17 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

Saw a report via CNN attributed to a "defense official" according to a "very preliminary Navy analysis" that five of the seven dead on Fitzgerald  were assessed as "almost instantly incapacitated" by the impact and likely died quickly. So the visions of a crowd of guys scratching with their fingernails on a locked hatch probably isn't correct. It wouldn't surprise me if most of the deaths were due to blunt force trauma and not drowning.

Also I'm not sure of the layout of that particular berthing compartment (BrianM?) but I wouldn't be surprised if there was an escape scuttle somewhere in the overhead where if someone were still conscious and able to move, they would at least have a shot at escaping the flooded compartment. A compartment like that probably wouldn't flood solid, there would likely be a pocket of trapped air in the overhead.

If you keep digging on story five were up against impact location of the hull.  Two and maybe more went into the compartment searching and evacuating more than once pulling others to safety before the door was finally shut with at least one known senior enlisted rescuer on the wet side. Likely two sailors trapped after making attempts to evacuate the compartment.  A compartment that should have been empty and locked down before the collision. 

 

https://www.change.org/p/secretary-of-the-navy-please-name-ddg-127-after-fire-controlman-1st-class-gary-leo-rehm-jr

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11 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

The watch should have notice a collision was imminent and hit the collision alarm. That should have got the CO and everyone else out of their berths. That leaves the question no one it answering publicly yet.  When did the USS Fitzgerald at any level note the Crystal was there and on a collision course?  What actions were taken?  What alarms where sounded inside and outside the Fitzgerald? 

Under strict orders not to talk about what they saw that night, the crew of the Fitzgerald is mostly keeping its counsel while grieving the loss of its shipmates. But one sailor, contacted via social media, offered what may endure as an epitaph for the accident.

"All I can say is," the sailor wrote to The New York Times, "somebody wasn't paying attention."

 

And that sailor could've been CSSN Schmuckatelli who knows nothing but the ship went bang and five minutes later he was holding a fire hose, and offering the same uninformed "somebody wasn't paying attention" that Joe Blow in North Dakota would say as he unfolds his morning paper.  Might even say that the more senior the sailor, the more likely they are to realize that writing to the New York Times is a terrible idea.  For exactly the reason that message board people would use their words to speak for the entire Navy.

The questions you ask are the same ones the investigation is asking, I'm quite sure.

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25 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

I have to say, about the only thing that frosts me more than fact-free speculation about what happened and why in cases like this is the "woulda-shoulda" from people who are in no way qualified to Monday-morning quarterback the actions of the people who were there and actually had the responsibility.

Anybody who has never stood bridge watches on a Navy ship is less qualified than I am to judge what the CO, XO, OOD, etc. should have done that night on Fitzgerald. And since I wasn't there, I readily acknowledge that I am not in a position to say what should have been done or what I would have done in their places.

The Navy or POTUS can fix all that by making the CO and each of the officers of the watch or on the bridge available for a reasonable press interview.  Instead the Navy made the choice to put them all in hiding. There are good reasons why leadership figures answer the reasonable questions of the press in a timely manner. 

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3 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

The Navy or POTUS can fix all that by making the CO and each of the officers of the watch or on the bridge available for a reasonable press interview.  Instead the Navy made the choice to put them all in hiding. There are good reasons why leadership figures answer the reasonable questions of the press in a timely manner. 

IMO the Navy would rather have 1,000 years of totally baseless speculation than one officer in full uniform say anything even remotely false, even with the best of intentions and to the best of his or her knowledge.  The press won't be tossing beach balls.  And the NYT used a single anonymous sailor's quote as an "epitaph for the accident", splashing it everywhere and acting as though it might as well be the final word.  Imagine how they'd treat a quote from an officer in whites with a stack of ribbons and a nametag.  Official Navy gospel on the matter, is how - and then woe betide the Navy if that gospel changes.

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16 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

IMO the Navy would rather have 1,000 years of totally baseless speculation than one officer in full uniform say anything even remotely false, even with the best of intentions and to the best of his or her knowledge.  The press won't be tossing beach balls.  And the NYT used a single anonymous sailor's quote as an "epitaph for the accident", splashing it everywhere and acting as though it might as well be the final word.  Imagine how they'd treat a quote from an officer in whites with a stack of ribbons and a nametag.  Official Navy gospel on the matter, is how - and then woe betide the Navy if that gospel changes.

"Somebody wasn't paying attention." Yeah, wouldn't that be the "enduring epitaph" for pretty much every accident ever?

Six or nine months from now (probably roughly the time when results of the Navy's investigation might be available, if there's no pending legal action and the Navy decides to release anything) the press will have moved on and for the general public and anyone other than those directly involved this incident will probably be long forgotten. I'm betting NYT won't cover it, and the only place you'll see anything public is in Navy Times and/or Naval Institute Proceedings.

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5 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

"Somebody wasn't paying attention." Yeah, wouldn't that be the "enduring epitaph" for pretty much every accident ever?

Six or nine months from now (probably roughly the time when results of the Navy's investigation might be available, if there's no pending legal action and the Navy decides to release anything) the press will have moved on and for the general public and anyone other than those directly involved this incident will probably be long forgotten. I'm betting NYT won't cover it, and the only place you'll see anything public is in Navy Times and/or Naval Institute Proceedings.

The Japanese and others will not be as patient.  Filipino Crew, Japanese investor owned ship, Japanese waters.... A bunch of cargo holders diverted and delayed to Tokyo.  The list of people who have standing is long on this one.  

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52 minutes ago, Boo-Yah said:

The Navy or POTUS can fix all that by making the CO and each of the officers of the watch or on the bridge available for a reasonable press interview.  Instead the Navy made the choice to put them all in hiding. There are good reasons why leadership figures answer the reasonable questions of the press in a timely manner. 

I don't see how that would fix the issue. What would is people in general acknowledging that the don't have the training, experience and firsthand knowledge of the event to offer a reasonable opinion of what should have been done. That, too, will likely be included in the conclusions of the Navy's investigation.

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