Author Topic: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17  (Read 8903 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« on: June 16, 2017, 19:29:06 »
The USS Fitzgerald struck a merchant vessel 56miles from Yokosuka.The Fitzgerald was struck amidships causing three compartments to flood.I think they can get the ship to port but casualties and damage is unknown.Video at the link.
According to reports the USS Dewey and 2 tugs were dispatched to the Fitzgerald's location.One injured sailor was choppered to shore and there are 7 sailors missing.

https://www.navytimes.com/articles/us-navy-destroyer-collides-with-merchant-ship

Update with images. The CO cabin was among the areas hit. Looks like the naval designers and shipyard built one tough ship.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-naval-vessel-collides-merchant-ship-southwest-japan-n773521



Edit: Title, to reflect name of vessel and date
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 07:30:45 by Scott »

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Collision !!
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 21:33:49 »
Fair winds and following seas too Fitzgerald and her crew.  From all accounts you have done well to save the ship.  Looks like her skipper was medically evacuated and she is under the command of her XO.

My thoughts and prayers go out the 7 missing sailors.  I hope they are found quickly and in good health.

Taken from wikipedia:

"At approximately 2:30 AM local time, June 17, 2017, Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine flagged container ship, the ACX Crystal, about 50 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Seven American sailors were missing immediately after the collision and several others were injured. The ship's captain was medically evacuated from the vessel and the executive officer assumed command as the destroyer limped back to port under her own power, with the assistance of the Japanese coast guard.[7]The collision caused significant damage to the starboard side of the ship and some flooding. One injured sailor was taken off the ship by the Japanese Coast Guard at the request of the US Navy."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Fitzgerald
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 22:12:53 by Halifax Tar »
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 08:29:19 »
Looks like they are pumping out alot of water from the image. Flooded compartments may be where the missing sailors are as a berthing area was in the crumple zone. The ship made it into Yokosuka. The base has dry docks so they will be able to get it out of the water.




« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:50:14 by tomahawk6 »

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 08:53:00 »
Looks like they are pumping out alot of water from the image. Flooded compartments may be where the missing sailors are as a berthing area was in the crumple zone. The ship made it into Yokosuka. The base has dry docks so they will be able to get it out of the water.






She has taken on a good list in that second photo eh.
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Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 08:57:46 »
I am curious about below the waterline.  The visible damage wouldn't cause flooding as it's well above that.  Whatever is going on is significant as that appears to be at least a good 5 degree list to starboard.  Glad to see they were able to conduct good DC and get her into port.   :salute:

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 09:11:20 »
The container ship has a bulbous bow  that caused the damage below the waterline.A modern day ram.

7th Fleet PR

http://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1217773/uss-fitzgerald-returns-to-yokosuka/

The collision affected Fitzgerald's forward starboard side above and below the water line, causing significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room, which damage control teams quickly began dewatering. Though the ship is back in Yokosuka it remains uncertain as to how long it will take to gain access to the spaces in order to methodically continue the search for the missing.

Once the ship arrived in Yokosuka, divers began inspecting the damage and developing a plan for repairs and inspection of the spaces.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2017, 09:13:12 »
Jjt:

It looks like she took a bow on glancing blow at a 30 to 45 degree angle from the container ship. The bow did the damage above deck and would have rolled the Fitzgerald to port some, at which point the container ship's bulbous bow (they all have them nowadays) would have rammed the compartments now well below the waterline and opened them to the sea.

I sincerely hope there are pockets of air left in the flooded compartments and the seamen have found them.

Thoughts and prayer go to them and their families.

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2017, 09:34:20 »
I sincerely hope there are pockets of air left in the flooded compartments and the seamen have found them.

Thoughts and prayer go to them and their families.

Oh, God yes.  It goes to show that crap can happen at any time at sea and you need to be ready for it.  I really hope they find survivors.

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2017, 09:39:09 »
Man, what a mess. Just like in the PROTECTEUR fire, it goes to show fast things at sea can go from boring to doing everything humanly possible to save your skin.

I would be real interested in seeing how much of the ship's company was involved directly in DC efforts. It makes me wonder if the skinny crewing on an LCS could have saved that class of ship in a similar situation. Automated systems are not going to help you shore bulkheads and hatches- that is a straight, brute strength evolution. You get behind the flooding/buoyancy curve- you are in the rafts.

Good work to the crew in saving the ship. They will be exhausted both physically and emotionally.

Offline Occam

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2017, 10:21:59 »
The collision affected Fitzgerald's forward starboard side above and below the water line, causing significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room, which damage control teams quickly began dewatering.

Coming from a Naval Comms background, I've always wondered:  Do you put your Communications Control Room above the waterline, where it's at risk from missile threats, or put it below the waterline, where it's at risk of damage/flooding from mines, torpedoes and collisions?  In today's day and age, if you can't communicate, you seriously lose the ability to fight the ship, especially with integrated communications systems (telephone/intercom/radio interfaces/public address)...not to mention the fact that Ops loses a big part of the tactical picture if your tactical data links go down.

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2017, 10:32:19 »
Man, what a mess. Just like in the PROTECTEUR fire, it goes to show fast things at sea can go from boring to doing everything humanly possible to save your skin.

I would be real interested in seeing how much of the ship's company was involved directly in DC efforts. It makes me wonder if the skinny crewing on an LCS could have saved that class of ship in a similar situation. Automated systems are not going to help you shore bulkheads and hatches- that is a straight, brute strength evolution. You get behind the flooding/buoyancy curve- you are in the rafts.

Good work to the crew in saving the ship. They will be exhausted both physically and emotionally.

Sadly with the "new" MAR TECH trade, teaching the advanced DC skills to the QL 5 HT is gone.  I believe DC capabilities will only continue to decline as the legacy folks depart.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2017, 11:38:47 »
Coming from a Naval Comms background, I've always wondered:  Do you put your Communications Control Room above the waterline, where it's at risk from missile threats, or put it below the waterline, where it's at risk of damage/flooding from mines, torpedoes and collisions?  In today's day and age, if you can't communicate, you seriously lose the ability to fight the ship, especially with integrated communications systems (telephone/intercom/radio interfaces/public address)...not to mention the fact that Ops loses a big part of the tactical picture if your tactical data links go down.

I don't want to sound callous, Occam, nor prejudge anything until the facts are all known, but it seems to me  that Ops had lost the tactical picture well before the collision on this one.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2017, 12:39:08 »
Jjt:

It looks like she took a bow on glancing blow at a 30 to 45 degree angle from the container ship. The bow did the damage above deck and would have rolled the Fitzgerald to port some, at which point the container ship's bulbous bow (they all have them nowadays) would have rammed the compartments now well below the waterline and opened them to the sea.

I sincerely hope there are pockets of air left in the flooded compartments and the seamen have found them.

Thoughts and prayer go to them and their families.

OGBD, would this geometry have showed FITZ a red port light and ACX Crystal would have seen gren stbd?



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« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 12:42:06 by Good2Golf »

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2017, 13:28:55 »
That confirms my geometry from looking at the Fitzgerald's damage: about 30 to 45 degrees difference in direction of vessels, both heading in same general direction.

Since this is near the cut off point between side lights and stern light, it is quite possible that the two vessels did not see the situation in the same way. Considering how wide ships are nowadays, If you are just at the cut off point between the two (which would make it around 112 degrees from the head of the Fitzgerald heading - with the container ship on Fitzgerald's starboard side) it is quite possible that the Container ship saw the Fitzgerald's green light, while Fitzgerald's saw the CS's red light but coming from astern of 112 degrees.

The CS would have interpreted this as crossing situation, and understood itself to be the stand on vessel, while the Fitzgerald interpreted the situation as an overtaking situation, thus considered herself to be the stand on vessel, and assumed the CS would manoeuver to go around her stern.

The investigation will shed more light (no pun) on the matter.

I am just surprized that at some point, someone on the Fitz didn't notice this was getting close and kicked her into high gear to 32 knots + to just outrun the merchie.



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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2017, 13:57:17 »
4 LMs could do a pretty decent job of helping get out of the way, although Crystal looks to have 40,000 shp and can do 25 kts, so maybe not as much outrunning to be done?

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Offline WeatherdoG

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2017, 14:12:44 »
I sincerely hope there are pockets of air left in the flooded compartments and the seamen have found them.

Thoughts and prayer go to them and their families.

Given the water temperatures off the coast I'd say the chances of survivors after this long in the water is extremely low. It's a sad day in the 7th fleet, and for anyone who makes a living on the water.

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2017, 15:42:52 »
I've got a bit of a question of the more nautically inclined.

The news articles indicate the collision occurred at about 0230 hrs 17 Jun local time (Japan Standard Time). JST is at +9 hrs UTC which would make the collision at 1730 hrs 16 Jun UTC.

I've checked the track of the ACX Crystal on Vessel Finder ( https://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9360611 this gives you her present location. Click the green "Track" icon to the left and her track will be displayed) and it looks a little strange (there's no track that I can find for the USNS Fitzgerald on either Vessel Finder or Marine Traffic)

What I find strange is that Crystal seemed to be steaming easterly until 1630 UTC and then made a sharp turn south for six minutes before again steaming easterly until 1705 UTC at which point she makes a sharp course reversal and steams westerly until 1735 at which point she makes a slight course correction to port and at 1740 steers hard to port until 1756 at which time she reverses course to go north until 1859 and then she returns to an easterly course for Tokyo.

At first I thought that the first course change at 1630 UTC was made at the time of the collision after which she turned back to Tokyo before returning to the site of the crash (which would make sense if the Fitzgerald was calling for assistance), but the UTC timings don't work for that. If I've got those right then the collision would have happened as she was steaming back westerly which doesn't make too much sense.

Any thoughts? Am I off on the +9 hour UTC or the math?

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« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 15:54:35 by FJAG »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2017, 17:08:27 »
You are right on the maths, FJAG, but I suspect that the author of the article may not know that Japan does not have Daylight Saving time and converted the info given by the Navy, likely in UTC time, to local time and screwed it up. That's what comes to my mind because, from the track (I looked at it, thank you for the link) I would say the Southerly six minute run (you can see a slowing down in speed too) beginning at 16:30 UTC has got to be the collision.

It all fits with the pictures and my analysis (which is why I like it  :) ). That would put the Fitzgerald on a course of about 130-140 degrees, and when the collision occurs, the collision actually causes the southerly turn of the Crystal. It then continues on but decides, probably after all hell broke lose, to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak.

Two things to remember here, FJAG.

First, warships do not operate (or very, very rarely do) their automated identification and tracking systems, of any kind, so you will not find their tracks anywhere.

Second, the Fitzgerald  (A USS, by the way, not a USNS - not the same thing - USNS are naval support vessels operated by civilians in support of the US Navy) is an Arleigh Burke class ship. It was built with a reduced radar signature profile, as a result of which, it shows up as something the size of a small to medium sized fishing vessel  on the radar of a container ship like Crystal. Seeing a "small" vessel that did not reply with a AIS signal in front of them, Crystal may have assumed it was a fisherman or such small vessel (less than 300 tons) and he would get out of their way or calculated it would be close but they would clear. In any event they may have been confused,   

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2017, 17:58:31 »
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:138.0/centery:35.0/zoom:10

You can play around with the info at link to get various info including 21 pages of speed, course etc. Lots of changes of course starting on page 4.

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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2017, 18:39:43 »

First, warships do not operate (or very, very rarely do) their automated identification and tracking systems, of any kind, so you will not find their tracks anywhere.


Perhaps, unless they turn them off while you are looking at their track (somewhat to the SW of the collision . . . okay, not really close).

https://www.vesselfinder.com/?mmsi=316147000
https://www.vesselfinder.com/?mmsi=316195000
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2017, 19:15:41 »
Damn! I was sure I had put "US" before warship. Must be typing at slower rate than I can think about what I want to say.  ;D

Yes we, in Canada usually have the AIS on unless actually engaged in ops or actual training phase of an ex. Only then do we turn them off. We consider it polite.

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2017, 19:30:34 »
Perhaps, unless they turn them off while you are looking at their track (somewhat to the SW of the collision . . . okay, not really close).

https://www.vesselfinder.com/?mmsi=316147000
https://www.vesselfinder.com/?mmsi=316195000

True that. There are several Japanese military ships in the area and, as well, there is a ship described as "US Warship 105" that launched from Yokosuka not long after the collision and went to the collision site where she is still steaming.

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2017, 20:04:58 »
True that. There are several Japanese military ships in the area and, as well, there is a ship described as "US Warship 105" that launched from Yokosuka not long after the collision and went to the collision site where she is still steaming.

:cheers:

That would be the USS Dewey presently involved for the search for the 7 missing sailors.

Offline Lumber

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2017, 21:29:03 »
I am just surprized that at some point, someone on the Fitz didn't notice this was getting close and kicked her into high gear to 32 knots + to just outrun the merchie.

This baffles me as well. The Crystal may not have thought a 7000t warship was in front of them, but the Fitz would have been tracking her on at least 3 different sensors, on the bridge and in ops.

Shall; May; Shall. So why didn't the Fitz kick it up to full speed and peel off to port when  the Crystal closed to within 1000 yards?

Consider: the Captain was injured and medivac'd. When a situation develops and a collision seems possible, the Captain is woken up and he heads to the bridge.  However, from the pictures, the bridge wasn't damaged. So how did the Captain get injured? Perhaps because he wasn't on the bridge?

I've actually sailed as a bridge watch keeper aboard an Arleigh Burke (under training at the time). As much as I love working with the USN, the quality of their junior bridge watch keeps is seriously lacking. Our officers go through a year and  a half of formal training followed by at least a year of OJT before the Captain trusts them enough to take charge of the ship. American officers under go no formal classroom training; it's all OJT, and they award there tickets much sooner. The result is bridge watch keepers who are less capable and confident than should be required. To see what I mean, check out the bridge audio recording from when the USS PORTER was struck by a merchant ship a few years back. You can here the Officer of the Watch trying to make recommendations to his CO, but he's fumbling over his words, barely confident enough to speak let alone provide sound, convincing and safe advice to his CO.

So, here's what I think happened.

The Fitz saw that the crystal was closing. It probably looked like they were being overtaken, but it also probably was so close to a crossing situation that their should have been some doubt in the  Officer of the Watch's mind. When the Crystal didn't alter course, the Officer of the Watch should have called her on VHF. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but regardless, the Crystal still didn't move. At this point, he should have called the CO to the bridge. As the Crystal continued to close without altering course, and got so close that it seems collision was a high probability, he should have altered course without the CO's directing. "Full speed ahead, left 15 degree rudder, steady on course 090." Why didn't any of this happen? Possibly the Officer of the Watch was too afraid to take action. He might even have been too afraid to even call the Captain at night. Or, maybe he did call the Captain, but the captain was so convinced that it was the Crystal's job to alter course that he refused to take action.

So much could have been avoided with a simple VHF call and a confident engine order..
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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2017, 21:36:42 »
That would be the USS Dewey presently involved for the search for the 7 missing sailors.

Interesting. The Dewey is identified as "DDG-105" which seems to correspond to "US Warship 105". I've punched in a few numbers without luck although "US Warship 51" did come up off the coast of New York City. "DDG 51" is the Arleigh Burke which has Norfolk as it's home port.

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