Author Topic: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17  (Read 3619 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.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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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?



Regards
G2G

« 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.

Offline FJAG

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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?

 :cheers:
« 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.

Offline FJAG

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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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Offline FJAG

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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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Offline Occam

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2017, 23:35:15 »
The USN is reporting that all 7 sailors were found dead in flooded compartments.  RIP, matelots.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/17/us/missing-sailors-found/index.html

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2017, 23:43:00 »
Not good news.   My deepest condolences to family and crewmates.   :salute:   

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2017, 03:52:05 »
The damage was below the waterline.The captains cabin was destroyed by the impact. The ship had been in danger of sinking but due to the actions of the crew they saved their ship.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/navy-stops-search-7-missing-sailors-bodies-found-055115455.html

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2017, 07:53:30 »
Well done, the Ship's crew.  I understand that no matter the MOSID, all are DC and firefighter first, and the Fitzgerald's crew saved the ship.

RIP to those sailors who perished. :salute:

Regards
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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2017, 12:14:50 »
Its been on my mind for the last several days the seven sailors aboard the USS FITZGERALD who tragically met their end. I'm sure when they went to their racks that night, it never entered their mind of something happening to them like that.Sailing aboard a Naval Vessel is inherently dangerous proposition from fire, flood, collision or simply an accident from falling down a ladder or falling over the side. Over the years I came close to being washed over the side mid Atlantic and faced my share of near misses from potential fires and catastrophic failures of equipment. We are all trained firefighters on board and my trade specializes in situations such as Damage Control, Helo Crash firefighting among others. My current job on the training and safety at sea side of the spectrum deals with these sort of situations and this is a good wake up call for all of us to renew our efforts to mentor and train the new generation of sailors to mitigate the hazards of a life at sea.
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2017, 15:16:08 »
The Captain's cabin was reportedly completely destroyed. Commander Bryce Benson took command about a month ago.
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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2017, 18:39:29 »
Well done, the Ship's crew.  I understand that no matter the MOSID, all are DC and firefighter first, and the Fitzgerald's crew saved the ship.

RIP to those sailors who perished. :salute:

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2017, 19:41:15 »
Another account by a sailor who was in the flooding berthing compartment.Interesting that thinking they were under attack some members of the crew wen to their battale staions. :salute:

https://japantoday.com/category/national/navy-stops-search-for-7-missing-sailors-after-bodies-found

Offline WeatherdoG

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2017, 20:28:03 »
Another account by a sailor who was in the flooding berthing compartment.Interesting that thinking they were under attack some members of the crew wen to their battale staions. :salute:

https://japantoday.com/category/national/navy-stops-search-for-7-missing-sailors-after-bodies-found

I always liked that our mess decks on CPFs are above the water line, this story really makes me appreciate it more. I can imagine few situations at sea more horrible than having your mess deck ripped open in your sleep, and sea water flooding in.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2017, 22:17:14 »
The deceased sailors have been identified. RIP

https://www.navytimes.com/articles/navy-identifies-seven-sailors-killed-in-fitzgerald-collision

According to a statement from U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs, the deceased included:

Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia

Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California

Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California

Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland

Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio

Official 7th Fleet PR.

http://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1217872/us-navy-identifies-7-deceased-fitzgerald-sailors/
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 22:29:13 by tomahawk6 »

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2017, 22:23:45 »
I always liked that our mess decks on CPFs are above the water line, this story really makes me appreciate it more. I can imagine few situations at sea more horrible than having your mess deck ripped open in your sleep, and sea water flooding in.
21 Mess on CAL, HAL, WIN and FRE are on 4 deck which puts them into the waterline.  Although I expect regardless of where your mess is located, if something comes smashing in like this, you're going to be fighting for your life.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2017, 08:37:20 »
Interesting article from the Pacific edition Stars and Stripes concerning the aftermath of the crash. The article gives one a sense of the spirit of comradeship evident in the USN.Sailors standing watches aboard the Fitz in addition to their normal assigned duties on their own ships.

https://www.stripes.com/news/flooding-weak-bulkheads-remain-problems-for-uss-fitzgerald-after-collision-1.474275#.WUfEuUhtm70

“As far as damage … I think this was greater damage compared to the USS Cole,” said Damage Controlman Chief Andrae Sutherland, who participated in emergency response efforts after the October 2000 bombing that killed 17 Americans and injured 39.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 08:48:18 by tomahawk6 »

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2017, 20:03:31 »
The Japanese Coast Guard investigators have discovered that the Crystal delayed an hour reporting the collision. They are now asking why this delay ? Its not looking good for the Crystal as being the cause of the collision.Still early to draw a conclusion.

https://www.navytimes.com/articles/japan-investigates-delay-in-reporting-us-navy-ship-collision

TOKYO — Japan's coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported.

A coast guard official said Monday they are trying to find out what the crew of the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was doing before reporting the collision off Japan's coast to authorities 50 minutes later.

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2017, 22:44:31 »
The Japanese Coast Guard investigators have discovered that the Crystal delayed an hour reporting the collision. They are now asking why this delay ? Its not looking good for the Crystal as being the cause of the collision.Still early to draw a conclusion.

https://www.navytimes.com/articles/japan-investigates-delay-in-reporting-us-navy-ship-collision

TOKYO — Japan's coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported.

A coast guard official said Monday they are trying to find out what the crew of the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was doing before reporting the collision off Japan's coast to authorities 50 minutes later.

This article certainly explains the earlier timeline discrepancy between the initial press reports and Maritime Traffic ACX Crystal movement trace. A 0130 hrs collision clearly puts ACX Chrystal on the initial eastward track where the sharp turn to starboard happens. Her 0225 hrs report to the Coast Guard would be consistent with her returning on the westward track to the general area of the collision.

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2017, 12:23:27 »
The CO of USS Stethem talks about the support effort ongoing for the Fitz crew.

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/533089/uss-stethem-co-discusses-uss-fitzgerald#

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2017, 12:44:12 »
BZ to all involved in this. They are upholding one of the highest tradition of the western navies: Service first.

This solidarity is exactly the illustration of something some of us in these forum who are from the Navy keep telling you. Where the Army often has fierce loyalty to one's regiment, the Air Force to one's community, in the Navy, loyalty is first and foremost to the actual naval service. Ship, unit, school, base or station comes second - always - and the good of the service overrides everything else.
 

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2017, 12:52:50 »
To top it off the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief Petty Officer of Navy visited the USS Fitzgerlad crew today.They also wanted to thank the JSDF and Coast Guard for their help during the aftermath of the collision.

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2017, 12:56:06 »
Interesting little article on Fox that also looks at the time of the collision. I noted the item at the end which states that the vessel on the port side should give way to the one on the starboard.

Quote
Reuters pointed out that vessels at sea are supposed to give way to ships on their starboard. The report said that even though the collision occurred in Japanese waters, under maritime rules, the u.S. could claim some authority

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/06/20/uss-fitzgerald-us-coast-guard-to-interview-crew-container-ship-in-collision.html

This would ordinarily put the duty on the Fitzgerald to steer clear of the ACX Chrystal.

From the little that I know of the rules of navigation at sea (all of what I know can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Regulations_for_Preventing_Collisions_at_Sea) the ACX Chrystal would have the duty instead if she was overtaking the Fitzgerald.

Quote
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules ... ... an overtaking vessel must keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken. "Overtaking" means approaching another vessel at more than 22.5 degrees abaft[17] her beam, i.e., so that at night, the overtaking vessel would see only the stern light and neither of the sidelights of the vessel being overtaken.[11][page needed] Note that the opening words of this rule make clear that this rule overrides all other rules.

Looks to me like this whole thing is going to come down to who was overtaking who and at what angle they were approaching each other.

Any comments from those of you with real knowledge of the sea?

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Offline Lightguns

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2017, 13:42:44 »
Judging by the damage, the ACX was overtaking the Fitz from the starboard rear at about 50 degrees UNLESS the Fitz sped up in an effort to get ahead of the ACX.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2017, 13:57:30 »
Fox is sensational in its reporting, but it's not necessarily that straight forward.

The rules (crossing situation vs overtaking situation) that may be at issue here are for ships in sight of one another. At this point, we don't even know (at least I haven't seen it described anywhere) the prevailing visibility conditions at the time and location of the accident: Could the two vessels see each other? If not, the crossing rule and the overtaking rule are out the window and, under rule 19, each ship involved must manoeuvre to avoid a collision.

You may want to look at my earlier post and to some of Lumber posts above also. Remember that at sea, we deal with relative tracks, that is there is a resulting track that is the effect of the combination of both ship's movement. It is that resulting track that determines many situations. One such effect is that, as a general result but not always, two ships on a collision course will create a resulting "relative" track that will be on a constant bearing from one another. As I described earlier, when that constant bearing is at or near the cut off point for being in an overtaking or crossing situation, it is sometimes difficult to assess the situation. That is why Rule 13 states that if you are not sure, you should act as if overtaking.

Does that resolve everything? No, not necessarily.

For instance, the Rules - ALL the Rules - apply when there is a risk of collision.  If no risk exists, then no rule applies. But things don't stay static at sea and situations evolve from normal operation of the vessels. What if (and I am speculating here, so don't take any of this as being the situation) the destroyer (D) was steaming along, was seen by the Container ship (CS) on its port bow, and the CS calculated no risk as they would pass the D with a mile and a half CPA (closest point of approach), but then, at three miles separation, the D made a 15 degrees planned alteration of course to starboard, creating the risk of collision?  Now we are all supposed to pay attention while at sea, but in practice, merchant ship owners are cheap, so there is likely only a single officer on the bridge and a helmsman, who is only paying attention to his heading, not traffic. So they fail to notice the new circumstances until it's too late. Etc.

Also, there are other rules applicable that can come into play, such as Rule 17 (a) and (b): Basically, when it becomes clear to you that the vessel that does not have the right of way is not manoeuvering, the stand on vessel may take any action it sees fit to avoid the collision (i.e. it is relieved from the obligation to stand on its course and speed), when it is clear that no action by the vessel who must give way will avoid the collision by itself, then the stand on vessel must also manoeuvre to avoid the collision. These two rules combined are some times referred to as the "there is no excuse for a collision at sea" rules  ;D.

Then, you have to take into consideration Rule 2 on general responsibility, which is the good mariner's practice rule. Was there a breach of it here? Who knows at this time. But a sub (b) of that rule states: "In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger." Now, more junior naval officers may not think in such terms at this point of their career, but as I have indicated above, Arleigh Burke destroyers are "stealthy" radar signature ships and that is certainly a ship limitation I would take into consideration - together with the fact that as a warship I may not be exhibiting the lights of a ship my size (for us in Canada, many UK warships too, and I don't know about the Arleigh Burke but suspect it is the case, we show a single masthead light - which would normally be associated with a ship smaller than 50 meters in length) and I am not sending out AIS info identifying me as a destroyer - in thinking about how I must be perceived by traffic around me. I would then take that into consideration in planning my own actions.

Anyway, FJAG, all this to say that it may not be as simple, clear or straightforward as Fox news makes it sound and the actual application of the rules at sea is not always clear and unambiguous, so until all the facts are known and clearly established, it is better not to cast a final judgement on liability, if any, of either party involved. 

Offline MARS

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2017, 14:40:32 »
crap...I lost my post...

Summary:

This things might start with Rule 1: governments deeming certain vessels to be 'special construction' (i.e. warships) and thus not being lit at night or sounding signals IAW a vessel of her dimensions;

Rule 27 might apply - if Fitzgerald was Restricted in her Ability to Manoeuvre, she would be the 'privileged vessel' in certain situations; finally:

The Collision Regulations do not apply to multiple 'situations' applying concurrently to either vessel.  If there was another radar contact or light that either vessel thought was a third vessel to which they were already reacting, there is no clear rule for that except what OGDB's comments mentioned, which vastly complicated things.

And after all of that, then add the too-common Bridge Resource Management failures into the mix that Lumber mentioned...
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 14:49:03 by MARS »
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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2017, 15:47:25 »
I'll start by saying that I know nothing of navigation at sea. I thought I saw a picture of the Crystal's route and it seemed a tad convoluted. Almost wandering with no sense of direction. Was there anything odd about the way she was maneuvering, before the collision?
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2017, 19:33:24 »
Unless Crystal approached from behind and decided to pass the DDG. Then they noticed the Fitz and hit that ship,then adjusted course away from the Fitz.

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2017, 19:58:49 »
Unless Crystal approached from behind and decided to pass the DDG. Then they noticed the Fitz and hit that ship,then adjusted course away from the Fitz.

I'm not sure that works given the damage geometry. It looks like the Fitz was struck on the starboard side, by something coming towards it. The Crystal made contact on the port side, near the nose. That makes it appear that they were traveling abreast at some point, and one vessel swung into the other. A crossing maneuver is another possibility, but I don't see Fitz purposefully turning so tightly with Crystal that close. Odds on that Crystal banked to port and not registering the size of Fitz (actual or radar), smacked into her.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2017, 20:11:39 »
Leadership and Damage Control video. Its very good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un01zw62n70

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2017, 20:25:07 »
Points to consider.

1.  USS Fitzgerald's track is not shown on the AIS because normally warships do not have their transponders on. 

2.  Commercial Nav RADARs may have discarded the 'paint' from Fitzgerald because there was no associated AIS overlay.  I do not know what model of Nav Radar the Crystal was operating, but this could be the case.

3.  With no AIS contact, a possibly 'filtered out' RADAR paint, and unknown weather conditions at the time, it is possible that the bridge crew on the Crystal had no idea there was even another ship out there, and with the small size of bridge crews on commercial vessels nowadays, a reduced number of people on the bridge at that time of night would not be unthinkable.

4.  The Fitzgerald *SHOULD* have been tracking the inbound ship, and their various RADAR systems should have given them the multiple redundancy to spot the danger long before it hit.  The only reason I can think that this might not have been the case would have been if the crew had been doing a simulation of some sort on watch and the OPS system was switched into a Sim mode which may have input false targets as part of the 'game' and they didn't realize until too late that there was a REAL target way too close.

The apparent stumbling around in the dark of the Crystal...the question of did it happen before or after the collision?  I don't know....the purported location of the hit WRT the reported AIS track of the Crystal seems to draw questions that make one think about 5th column issues, but there's been a report of a 50 minute delay in reporting the collision by the Crystal...which might account for the funny looking course changes and such.

I don't know.

To be honest, I am extremely impressed that after getting struck in that way that they were not literally cut in two and sunk on the spot.  The fact that the crew pulled together and got into port is simply amazing.  Working at the DC school last year, I saw some interior photos of some recent groundings and other internal ship damage....I'm honestly hoping to see some of the shoring photos from this incident, and figure that the bulbous bow of the Crystal left a HUGE round hole punched in the side of the ship, well below the waterline.  The damage is likely to be far more massive than what you see in the images.

I suspect that the keel of the ship is actually bent as well.  We shall see how that plays out and whether or not they actually fix the ship or not.  I suspect that they will initiate repairs, but I also expect to see the ship brought home in the same way the USS Cole was, carried on top of another ship.

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2017, 22:13:20 »
Career wise the skipper Commander Benson will retire at his current rank.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/big-questions-in-us-warship's-collision-with-container-ship


WHAT HAPPENED?

A. Experts generally agree that the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal, coming from behind, tried to pass the USS Fitzgerald on the right side. Extensive damage to the destroyer's starboard side and that to the container ship on its port side suggest that, but they say it is too early to determine responsibility. The container ship might have failed to spot the destroyer and rammed into it, or the destroyer somehow might have made a sudden move to the right. There is also a possibility the container ship might have tried to cut in front or in back of the destroyer and accidentally slammed into its side.

"There is almost no mistake the container was behind the destroyer, though it is still premature to decide which ship bumped into the other," said Tetsuo Kotani, a maritime security expert at the Japan Institute of International Affairs. "The damage to the destroyer's side suggests the container's bow slammed into it at a significant speed."

WHAT IS THE DAMAGE AND WHAT DOES IT SUGGEST?

The 8,315-ton destroyer's starboard side was badly damaged, with a mechanical room and two sleeping compartments destroyed and flooded. Navy officials say the ship also has a big gash on the bottom. Damage to the container ship is concentrated on its bow area, including a sharp horizontal cut across it, scratches and dents on the port side fence and hull. Coast guard officials said the container ship has a speed-increasing bulbous bow that sticks out in front of the ship below the waterline, suggesting that part stabbed the destroyer's bottom, allowing the seawater to gush in.

WHY DID THE SHIPS COME SO CLOSE?

Two possible causes are a radar failure or negligence by a night watchman — on either ship or both — that might have caused a delay or failure to spot the other ship. Every ship is equipped with radar or other electronic ship tracking device to alert against close encounters, and crewmembers on watch duty provide visual observation. U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said an unspecified number of sailors were on watch duty the night of the collision. The gray paint of the destroyer blends into the darkness and makes it harder to spot at night.

WHAT WENT WRONG?

Experts say it could have been a lack of communication between the two ships, or a misunderstanding of the situation as to who should have the right of way. Coast guard officials said they are looking for a recording device on the container ship that could help them determine whether it communicated with the destroyer before the collision. Unlike cars on highways, ships encounter each other from all directions, and confusion can lead to a wrong decision on which side is "give-way" or "stand-on." Under maritime traffic rules, the ship on the right — in this case, the container ship — gets to proceed, and one to the left is the "give-way" ship.

Offline FJAG

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Re: USS Fitzgerald Collision 17.06.17
« Reply #52 on: June 20, 2017, 22:58:23 »
...
Anyway, FJAG, all this to say that it may not be as simple, clear or straightforward as Fox news makes it sound  ...

Is anything ever as simple, clear or straightforward as Fox makes it sound?  ;D

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