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Topic: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal (Read 172 times) previous topic - next topic

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USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Exclusive: U.S. warship stayed on deadly collision course despite warning - container ship captain

Quote
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.

The U.S. Navy declined to comment and Reuters was not able to independently verify the account.

The collision tore a gash below the Fitzgerald's waterline, killing seven sailors in what was the greatest loss of life on a U.S. Navy vessel since the USS Cole was bombed in Yemen's Aden harbor in 2000.

Those who died were in their berthing compartments, while the Fitzgerald's commander was injured in his cabin, suggesting that no alarm warning of an imminent collision was sounded.

MV ACX Crystal
Class and type: Container ship
Gross Tonnage:  29060
Deadweight:  39565 t
Length Overall x Breadth Extreme:  222.6m × 30.1m



USS Fitzgerald
Class and type:   Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
Displacement:   9000 t
Length:   154 m
Beam:   20 m


Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #1
The captain of the Crystal is trying to avoid the truth that they weren't paying attention.

  • ksen
Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #2
It's probably safe to say that when ships this size collide that neither party was paying particularly close attention.

  • MikeS
Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #3
The destroyer should have opened fire.

Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #4
They destroyer didn't seem to be aware that a collision was imminent.

Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #5
The captain of the Crystal is trying to avoid the truth that they weren't paying attention.

I don't know too much about boating, but I thought it's generally the boat that crosses in front of another that's responsible because you shouldn't do that.

Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #6
Well, from the perspective of each boat, the other boat is crossing in front, so that's ambiguous. The general rule is that if the crossing boat is to port (left), your vessel is the stand-on vessel and has the right of way. Otherwise, you yield right of way to the boat crossing from your starboard (right) side.

This general rule is often modified in designated shipping channels, where vessels in the channel are stand-on to vessels crossing the channel from either direction.

  • MikeS
Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #7
The bigger boat wins; except when the small boat is not powered.



Or, the destroyer opens fire.  Then it's just a contest of caliber.


  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #8
The bigger boat wins; except when the small boat is not powered.



Or, the destroyer opens fire.  Then it's just a contest of caliber.


You are ignoring the issue of mass and momentum. Not to mention the fire power of a destroyer, basically a 5" gun, even autoloaded, is not all that impressive on another large ship. Not even a few very lucky shots wouldn't prevent that big boat from running into the smaller boat. They might cut steerage or blow out the engines, but that boat is not going to stop in its course for a mile or two. Not with dozens of hits.

On the other hand, that destroyer is supposed to be a very quick and agile boat, at least for its size. It should have been simple for it to avoid the other ship, even given the other ship was being directed to ram the destroyer. They had more than adequate notification of the other ship and its course. As a military ship, they had more than adequate priority in deviating from the logged course (which raises the issues of were these boats in a controlled zone, where everything is controlled by the harbor or designated lanes of shipping) and could have taken evasive action. Not to mention, did they ever hear of a thing called VHF radio?

Sounds a lot like the incidence off Honolulu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehime_Maru_and_USS_Greeneville_collision. Very bad.

I wish I knew what happened to that Captain.
I can only hope this Captain, who was asleep, gets much worse. Fortunately, we still have in the Navy, the Constitution, a square-rigged frigate. With Yardarms. And lots of rope.
Are we there yet?

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #9
The bigger boat wins; except when the small boat is not powered.



Or, the destroyer opens fire.  Then it's just a contest of caliber.


BTW:
1) Being under tow and the supervision of a pilot, as in that picture, the larger vessel has "way". It can not control its motion, it can not effectively turn or stop, and it's under harbor control so has automatic right of way. I don't know if that was the case in the matter at issue here.
2) Firing of a gun at any ship is an Act of War. Any officer of doing so, except in desperate circumstances would be a career-ender, militarily. Never forgetting the Navy would never forgive you. Nor forget you. And that goes for the Captain who was asleep in his cabin.
3) Did anyone mention that both boats are required under international law and the Law of the Sea to maintain constant radio awareness. In short, both boats should have been in contact with the other. There is no conscionable reason why they couldn't have avoided each other. Then again, boat collisions regularly happen.
Are we there yet?

  • nesb
Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #10
The bigger boat wins; except when the small boat is not powered.



Or, the destroyer opens fire.  Then it's just a contest of caliber.


BTW:
1) Being under tow and the supervision of a pilot, as in that picture, the larger vessel has "way". It can not control its motion, it can not effectively turn or stop, and it's under harbor control so has automatic right of way. I don't know if that was the case in the matter at issue here.
2) Firing of a gun at any ship is an Act of War. Any officer of doing so, except in desperate circumstances would be a career-ender, militarily. Never forgetting the Navy would never forgive you. Nor forget you. And that goes for the Captain who was asleep in his cabin.
3) Did anyone mention that both boats are required under international law and the Law of the Sea to maintain constant radio awareness. In short, both boats should have been in contact with the other. There is no conscionable reason why they couldn't have avoided each other. Then again, boat collisions regularly happen.

Japan doesn't even have an official military. What are they even going to do if we start shooting their commissioned ships? Have us go to war with ourselves? To be clear here, I'm advocating hunting Japanese cargo ships for fun and sport.

  • ksen
Re: USS Fitzgerald vs MV ACX Crystal
Reply #11
They would probably activate Project Gundam.