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Most recent collision

Prior incident

Why is this happening?
 
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Australia
Ashfield
NSW
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My guess is that really big container ships and US warships are both used to having right of way, and blithely assume the other will move.
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AJ Cooper
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Incidents like these are almost always due to neglect by the bridge crew of both vessels. I imagine standards vary for merchant vessels from any company and country on earth. But more is definitely expected of the US Navy. At least two careers are probably over, the CO and the OOD, and probably rightly so.
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Talmanes wrote:
Incidents like these are almost always due to neglect by the bridge crew of both vessels. I imagine standards vary for merchant vessels from any company and country on earth. But more is definitely expected of the US Navy. At least two careers are probably over, the CO and the OOD, and probably rightly so.


The Fitzgerald report is out with at least three officers including the CO being removed. However, there are a number of people that acted heroically including one petty officer that lost his life insuring that could escape did escape. The Damage Control Assistant will likely be decorated as the ship made port under its own power. Interestingly the DCA is a woman, who used to not be allowed to serve on destroyers.

I heard most of this from a guy I work with who went through the Academy.
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And when asked about it, Trump just says "That's too bad". shake
 
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Marcel
Netherlands
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sbszine wrote:
My guess is that really big container ships and US warships are both used to having right of way, and blithely assume the other will move.

Neither has an automatic right of way in open sea. A really big ship may have right of way due to it's draught in shallow waters, I don't see any reason why a navy vessel should have right of way.

Of course, when one of them follows a TSS it would have a right of way, as does every vessel that goes there.

Neither would be used to having the right of way automatically.

My guess, somebody makes a plan, and the bridge crew follows the plan and changes course withpout paying attention to the consequences of this change of course.
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David Dearlove
United Kingdom
Isleworth
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As my wife with a Yachtmaster qualifications points out the first rule of collision avoidance is don't have a collision. Merchant ships like this have small crews and hence bad lookout and tend to be very large and unmanoeuverable.
The destroyer is very fast and manoeuverable with a big crew and superb radar. I'm afraid there will be another US captain on the beach soon.
If he wasn't on the bridge in those waters he should have been.
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These incidents reflect very poorly on the current state of Navy training and readiness at a time when we're relying on the Navy to show the flag and provide a tangible counter to threats posed by North Korea and possibly China. It's hard to maintain an AEGIS umbrella around North Korean missile launch sites when our AEGIS cruisers and destroyers keep suffering damage from collisions with commercial shipping.

We no longer have the luxury of Reagan's 600-ship Navy to fall back on. Each and every ship is critically important to accomplishing the Navy's mission, and we're already stretched thin thanks to the military misadventures of prior administrations and potential threats to eastern NATO members by Russia.

This is bad news all around. CNO and Navy senior leadership need to correct the problem ASAP. With three Japan-based AEGIS platforms now unavailable, our short-term options in the Pacific are likely to be reduced.

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Andy Holt
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Rayleigh
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Moshe Callen
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mag74b wrote:

or the officer who had watch duty got sloppy
 
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David Dearlove
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whac3 wrote:
mag74b wrote:

or the officer who had watch duty got sloppy

That's the Captain's fault by definition.
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Andy Holt
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DavidDearlove wrote:

That's the Captain's fault by definition.


Everything† is the Captains responsibility by definition -but not necessarily his fault.

Hypothetically if the helmsman on the tanker chose an opportunity in very restricted waters to shout Allah Akbah and steer directly* for the destroyer the best that the bridge crew on the destroyer may have been able to do would be to minimise the collision (note that this happened just before dawn so visibility and reaction times may well have both been impaired).

Had a look at the current AIS display for that area … horrifying density of shipping! Does anyone have access to the historical data for the time and date of the incident? (that seems to cost real money to access)

† yes everything – even in the presence of direct orders from a superior officer both the USN and the RN have court-martialled officers for failing to disobey commands.

* The tanker may have been under autopilot so there may have been the additional action of switching it off.
I wouldn't have thought that a naval vessel would have the autopilot active in such crowded lanes.
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Christopher Yaure
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With two similar collisions in three months, is it possible there is a software issue contributing to the problem?
 
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Josh
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Blaming this one on the cargo ship over the destroyer seems like blaming a cow for a collision with a cheetah
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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In square dancing, when two people are coming straight at each other, you have to mutually decide on which shoulder to pass (left or right.)

Rule 2 is "pass right shoulders".

Rule 1 is "pass the same shoulder as the other person is passing".
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David Dearlove
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andyholt wrote:
DavidDearlove wrote:

That's the Captain's fault by definition.


Everything† is the Captains responsibility by definition -but not necessarily his fault.

Hypothetically if the helmsman on the tanker chose an opportunity in very restricted waters to shout Allah Akbah and steer directly* for the destroyer the best that the bridge crew on the destroyer may have been able to do would be to minimise the collision (note that this happened just before dawn so visibility and reaction times may well have both been impaired).

Had a look at the current AIS display for that area … horrifying density of shipping! Does anyone have access to the historical data for the time and date of the incident? (that seems to cost real money to access)

† yes everything – even in the presence of direct orders from a superior officer both the USN and the RN have court-martialled officers for failing to disobey commands.

* The tanker may have been under autopilot so there may have been the additional action of switching it off.
I wouldn't have thought that a naval vessel would have the autopilot active in such crowded lanes.

The court martial will turn responsibility into fault.
The destroyer could be manoeuvred so that it was literally impossible for the tanker to hit it. It is so clumsy the destroyer could avoid it.
Visibility is not an issue for the destroyer it will have had thermal imaging like all modern warships. The OTW could have as many lookouts as he liked anyway.
Reaction times are minutes because that tanker isn't changing course in anything less.
The AIS looks worse than it is really because of the scale. There are very few collisions (none really) between ships here anyway.
In these conditions the Captain should be on the bridge. He doesn't take a watch precisely so he can be there at busy times.
I'm not even sure warships have autopilots. Why would you need one with a senior chief and a lieutenant on the bridge at all times?
As ships don't change course automatically autopilots don't come into it anyway the destroyer should not enter the bow sector of a large merchant ship close enough to get hit. It really isn't that difficult.
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Andy Holt
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Eric Brosius wrote:
In square dancing, when two people are coming straight at each other, …


It appears both ships were travelling East to West and the damage to the destroyer was just aft of amidships on the port side.


Given that my first questions on seamanship would go to the tanker.
Though I might also ask why the destroyer failed to avoid it.
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David Dearlove
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Eric Brosius wrote:
In square dancing, when two people are coming straight at each other, you have to mutually decide on which shoulder to pass (left or right.)

Rule 2 is "pass right shoulders".

Rule 1 is "pass the same shoulder as the other person is passing".

The relevant rules are the Colregs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Regulations_for_... is a pretty good summary.
Obey them and there can't be a collision.
The collision occurred outside the Traffic Separation Scheme to the east of Singapore so all vessels are responsible for their own collision avoidance.
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David Dearlove
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andyholt wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
In square dancing, when two people are coming straight at each other, …


It appears both ships were travelling East to West and the damage to the destroyer was just aft of amidships on the port side.


Given that my first questions on seamanship would go to the tanker.
Though I might also ask why the destroyer failed to avoid it.

The overtaking vessel is responsible for avoiding the other vessel. I doubt the tanker was overtaking a destroyer. Open and shut case I'm afraid.
 
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John Hathorn
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San Antonio
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Whatever happened to putting a shot across their bow?
 
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Moshe Callen
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JohnnyOffice wrote:
Whatever happened to putting a shot across their bow?

Um, well, heh… Um It seems that the Navy does not take too kindly to that-- or so the authorities tell me.
 
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Andy Beaton
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There are rumours floating about on Facebook that someone (possibly the Russians) is experimenting with spoofing GPS signals, which is why the US Navy is crashing all over the place recently.
It's a good conspiracy theory, but I expect people would notice that their iPhones are off by a few hundred metres all of a sudden.
 
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Ken
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Crystal Lake
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andyholt wrote:
Hypothetically if the helmsman on the tanker chose an opportunity in very restricted waters to shout Allah Akbah and steer directly* for the destroyer the best that the bridge crew on the destroyer may have been able to do would be to minimise the collision (note that this happened just before dawn so visibility and reaction times may well have both been impaired).


Yeah, not when you're talking about a ship with one of the most advanced radar systems in the world, the ability to surge to speeds that the container vessel couldn't possibly adapt to, and (if need be) sufficient firepower to reduce the container ship to a burning hulk in no time at all.

Quote:
* The tanker may have been under autopilot so there may have been the additional action of switching it off.


If this follows the trajectory of the Fitzgerald, we're going to learn that the commercial vessel tried contacting the destroyer and never received a response. Throw in the fact that the destroyer doesn't appear to have taken action to avoid the collision until it was far too late, and the officer on the bridge of the destroyer pretty clearly wasn't doing his job.

I can see these types of explanations when there are two commercial vessels involved, but the moment a military vessel is in the picture, I just can't see it.
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Damian
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aiabx wrote:
There are rumours floating about on Facebook that someone (possibly the Russians) is experimenting with spoofing GPS signals, which is why the US Navy is crashing all over the place recently.
It's a good conspiracy theory, but I expect people would notice that their iPhones are off by a few hundred metres all of a sudden.

While they turned of the Selective Availability that degraded the civilian signal years ago (and it cannot be reactivated at this point), the US government still has exclusive access to the encrypted Precise Positioning Signal. While SPS can be spoofed fairly easily, PPS cannot be unless someone has cracked RSA. It could only be compromised by deliberate espionage, and even then with the regular key changes it would have to be ongoing.
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Christopher Dearlove
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Chelmsford
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SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk
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SPIGuy wrote:
We no longer have the luxury of Reagan's 600-ship Navy to fall back on.


Never really did. The 600 ship navy was never achieved. Technically (according to Wikipedia) it peaked at 594 ships, but it wasn't up there long. But then the USSR had a large submarine fleet as a threat.

Today the US just has to manage with having what is equivalent to every other significant fleet on the planet put together.

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