Seven US Sailors 'missing' after collision - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 06-16-2017, 16:57   #1
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Seven US Sailors 'missing' after collision

Seven US Sailors are missing after the USS Fitzgerald smashed into a 21,000 ton cargo ship, according to a Japanese news outlet.
In a statement, the US Navy said the destroyer crashed into Philippines container ship ACX Crystal 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, off the coast of Japan, around 2:30am local time...
USS Fitzgerald involved in collision with merchant vessel | Daily Mail Online

Major issues on that ship, and they're about to be addressed......
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Old 06-16-2017, 18:33   #2
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First step will be relief of command of the ship's Captain. Standard practice, even if no fault is found (which is hard to imagine given all the radars aboard).

First reports was "one sailor injured - nothing to see here, move along". Suspect it will get uglier.
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Old 06-16-2017, 20:48   #3
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Let's just assume the other ship was sailing blind and their crew was totally incompetent. How on the planet with all that radar, sailors on lookout, satellite GPS info. and so on does a US Navy ship run into another ship in the open ocean? Think about it, its is a big ocean out there. You have to work hard to run into something.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:09   #4
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Yokosuka Naval Base , in the old days, would not pay overtime for workers to provide mooring / shore/hotel services. Ships are forced to "mill about or do racetrack courses" until their appointed mooring eta. These waters are very busy, but in no way does this excuse the collision . Pure speculation on my part , but the Fitz was hit on its starboard side which have made it the "give way" vessel , the yielding vessel.

Ain't no way in #### this should've happened , the lookouts , the OS's , the bridge team, ..... most night orders , given by the captain would've required he be woken up and advised on surface contacts at close range. constant bearing, decreasing range means you will have a collision unless EARLY, POSITIVE and SUBSTANTIAL course and or speed changes are ordered up.

Not good ship driving by the Navy , unless the Phillipine ship intentionally rammed the Fitzgerald, not likely. The captain always has the option of posting more lookouts going into busy ports , or staying on the bridge rather than hitting his rack. Complacency .

But without facts I am being speculative , hope the men overboard are recovered in good health. Being ready to go into port in advance , the ship may have been at sea and anchor detail , with dudes milling about on the weather decks , always exciting to hit/return port, hard to sleep.

Or maybe the filipino helmsman was a mindanao islamic jihadi and saw his opportunity to ram a navy ship LOL!
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:19   #5
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just look at our leaders and you wonder what could have happened.prayers for the crew.when no one is held accountable for there actions stuff will happen.
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:54   #6
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Prayers for our sailors and their families.

And for my part, I'm not laughing about the possibility that someone on the Philippine ship intentionally rammed our destroyer. Look at the damage on both ships - amidships on ours, bow on theirs.

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Old 06-17-2017, 06:48   #7
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The USN skipper took command last month. No excuse, especially since before taking command he was the XO for over two years. Don't know about the Officer of the Deck (OOD) experience, but he/she should be canned, too, for dereliction of duty at a minimum.

I have my doubts about the cargo ship intentionally ramming: it is a big, lumbering cargo ship - not anywhere near as agile as the Fitz. They should have never gotten closer than two miles from one another.

One has to wonder if a collision alarm was ever sounded...

Prayers for the missing and their families.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:03   #8
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Originally Posted by RJF View Post
The USN skipper took command last month. No excuse, especially since before taking command he was the XO for over two years. Don't know about the Officer of the Deck (OOD) experience, but he/she should be canned, too, for dereliction of duty at a minimum.

I have my doubts about the cargo ship intentionally ramming: it is a big, lumbering cargo ship - not anywhere near as agile as the Fitz. They should have never gotten closer than two miles from one another.

One has to wonder if a collision alarm was ever sounded...

Prayers for the missing and their families.
No excuses is agreed. Also agreed that a USN destroyer should have been able to get out of the way, even if someone was trying to ram. Could be a confluence of circumstances. Still looks suspicious to me when there's damage on the front of one ship and the other took a hit amidships.

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Old 06-17-2017, 08:08   #9
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I previously held a USCG Captains license for many years so in layman's terms it's hard to tell which vessel had the so called "right of way" in this situation. (I will avoid the technical terms here). Looking at the port bow damage on the container ship it appears it was more of a glancing blow. I'm guess the bulbous bow below the waterline on the container ship hit first and caused the below waterline damage to the destroyer. Looking at the course of the container ship it sure made some erratic movements in what should have been a relatively easy trip back to the port in Tokyo. I've been in situations where mechanical problems arise and your ship/boat succumbs to the mercy of the wind, water currents, fog, darkness, etc.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:54   #10
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It will all come out but chances are the skipper was fast asleep, he's still going to pay the price though and should, he was in command.

Complete dereliction of duty on the behalf of the bridge and combat center watches, there is absolutely no excuse for an aegis warship to have a collision on the high seas no matter what the other ship was doing. Pulling into port/transiting a channel and suffer a mechanical malfunction I can see it. But on the high seas if they're paying any attention to what is happening around them they should be untouchable.
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Old 06-17-2017, 18:05   #11
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Originally Posted by RJF View Post
The USN skipper took command last month. No excuse, especially since before taking command he was the XO for over two years. Don't know about the Officer of the Deck (OOD) experience, but he/she should be canned, too, for dereliction of duty at a minimum.

I have my doubts about the cargo ship intentionally ramming: it is a big, lumbering cargo ship - not anywhere near as agile as the Fitz. They should have never gotten closer than two miles from one another.

One has to wonder if a collision alarm was ever sounded...

Prayers for the missing and their families.
I think that change of command took place a year or so ago. Benson has a good upbringing nav wise. Hell Chester Nimitz ran one aground..it's a dangerous business more often than not..shame the facts may surface or be buried whichever is expeditious or convenient. The pacific rim in inland waters is heavy traffic. As a bridge watch stander for many , many years I have seen many close calls and azz clenchers, it is surprising there aren't more collisions . Sometimes in the course of human events your dance card gets punched, in the service of your country..you put your azz out there..nature of the biz..God Bless them all !!!
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Old 06-17-2017, 18:53   #12
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rear admiral William 'bull' Halsey led his fleet into terrific typhoon storm - twice, with resultant around 900 lives lost, 3 destroyers sunk many badly damaged including carriers and cruisers (Pittsburgh nearly sank), around 170 planes busted or overboard. and he still got fleet admiral promotion.
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Old 06-17-2017, 20:24   #13
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Incidents at sea are nothing new, but big difference between the tin can navy and the modern one and the way they operate.

If you've got an aegis system at your disposal and can't even keep track of merchant shipping then you have no business being there. And what's this say about their combat readiness, if they can't even safely navigate I can't imagine they'd know how to fight their ship.

From the failed LCS program to Iran seizing two patrol boats who couldn't have acted any more meekly the USN hasn't exactly been instilling confidence lately. It might behoove them to drop their 'global force for good' nonsense and get back to basics: trained sailors out to sea who know how to operate their ships and keep them running and understand their mission. And it's not to be a 'global force for good'.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:16   #14
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Originally Posted by Momo View Post
Incidents at sea are nothing new, but big difference between the tin can navy and the modern one and the way they operate.

If you've got an aegis system at your disposal and can't even keep track of merchant shipping then you have no business being there. And what's this say about their combat readiness, if they can't even safely navigate I can't imagine they'd know how to fight their ship.

From the failed LCS program to Iran seizing two patrol boats who couldn't have acted any more meekly the USN hasn't exactly been instilling confidence lately. It might behoove them to drop their 'global force for good' nonsense and get back to basics: trained sailors out to sea who know how to operate their ships and keep them running and understand their mission. And it's not to be a 'global force for good'.
Thanks for that vote of confidence, the good thing is, on the whole these events don't happen often, the bad thing is people get lax and these things do happen. Tin can Navy refers to small ships, even today. Admiral Wayne Meyer (the father of Aegis) was a friend of mine, he was a frequent visitor to Bath Iron Works, his wife christened one of my ships. He had the conn out the Kennebec river on the ship's first voyage to future homeport , he was every bit a tin can sailor, as are a great many sailors today. From the bridge of an Arleigh Burke you can't even see the bow, except perhaps from the window way off in the corner or stepping out on the bridge wings, weird design.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, and please don't run down the Navy. The facts aren't in and may never become public knowledge. I agree that something(s) were definitely amiss the other night , where were the "eyes on" lookouts , where were the twidgets in CIC ...shouldn't have happened but it did

Those responsible will have to live with it . Military is dangerous business, when people mess up, people die or get hurt. Professionalism counts.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:01   #15
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FWIW: Blog: Something is fishy about USS Fitzgerald story we are getting from the media

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Old 06-18-2017, 07:54   #16
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still though for a slow mover to hit a maneuverable fast ship shows lookout, bridge/conn and radar room error. having spent time on 'tin cans' during my hitch I have fair knowledge of what likely happened. somebody(s) were near asleep on watch.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:35   #17
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And perhaps sounding of a collision alarm might have gotten those poor souls out of the berthing areas.

Grumpy, your link poses some very interesting questions, if the letter is correct in that the transponder was turned off and there were no running lights. Add to that the 180 the ACX Crystal made under those conditions in a "heavily congested" area does drive home some serious suspicions. But the Fitz certainly dropped the ball. Big time.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:09   #18
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They found the missing 7 in the flooded compartment they were in at the time of the collision.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:43   #19
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Originally Posted by Parnelli View Post
They found the missing 7 in the flooded compartment they were in at the time of the collision.
I thought that might be the case..dang.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:50   #20
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I mentioned that (intentional ramming) in passing thoughts, a few posts ago..it would explain alot. Several comments about how agile and nimble the Burke class is, true , but it ain't no corvette or go cart. Still this is a terrible bad deal whatever the causes were.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:05   #21
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Originally Posted by spacewolf223 View Post
I mentioned that (intentional ramming) in passing thoughts, a few posts ago..it would explain alot. Several comments about how agile and nimble the Burke class is, true , but it ain't no corvette or go cart. Still this is a terrible bad deal whatever the causes were.
There are reports that the ACX Crystal executed a 180 degree turn immediately prior to the ramming. If other reports that the ship was running without lights or transponder are true, that's deeply suspicious to me. It could easily be that the Fitz turned just enough to avoid being cut in half, alert sounded at the last minute. Dunno.

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Old 06-18-2017, 11:56   #22
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Now being speculated that the collision occurred at 0130 instead of 0230 at which point the cargo ship eventually did a 180 to see what it had hit. The bulbous bow breached the berths below the waterline just as I originally predicted. Appears they were more or less on parallel paths and question remains which vessel was overcoming which.

Maybe we've interjected so much training on sensitivity, gender assignment, social awareness, add in the presence of the LGBT element, and presto Andy and Amos are banging on the copy machine and the rest are on their iPhones, asleep, or smokin whatever.
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Old 06-18-2017, 13:55   #23
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maybe room temperature IQ lookouts factor in. never had been at GQ or maybe even port and starboard watch.
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Old 06-18-2017, 14:33   #24
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It will all come out but chances are the skipper was fast asleep,
Not in his cabin!



The cabin of the ship's captain Commander Bryce Benson (which would be just off the bridge) was completely destroyed by the impact and he is 'lucky to be alive' they say.
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Old 06-18-2017, 18:21   #25
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Actually I saw that he was in his cabin sleeping and was pulled from the wreckage and flown off the ship, hence the lucky to be alive part. Suffice it to say he now knows firsthand the dangers of having incompetent watches.

This didn't happen in a vacuum, a good portion of the officers and chiefs need to pay for this one. You can't tell me that they weren't aware of poor watches being stood. Especially on a small ship, everybody knows everybody else and 'scuttlebutt' is all over the place.
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