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How does this happen?

Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by USMCPrice, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    The USS Fitzgerald gets hit by a container ship. I've spent a great deal of time on Navy ships, (as cargo), but really do not intimately understand the inner working of actually sailing it or the rules governing operating at sea. How does something like this happen? There are a bunch of squidleys/former squidleys here on the forum, inform me.

    [​IMG]
    USS Futzgerald (damaged)

    [​IMG]

    ACX Chrystal​
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Rough seas while coming along side? Bad turn in harbour? Just a couple of guesses...maybe the captain of the warship assumed the container ship would give way...hehe...
     
  3. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    Just like any traffic accident at 2:30 AM. Both crews not paying attention.

    However the navy vessel is at fault. While both ships have surface search radar, we literally coat our ships in radar absorbing material and angle the sides to reflect enemy radar returns upward and prevent them from getting good returns.

    Other than that the XO wanted the CO's job and this is the easiest way to get rid of him.
     
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  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    According to what I heard, the larger ship (the cargo vessel) has the right of way. That being said, was no one paying attention?
     
  5. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    There should have been 3 watchstanders paying attention to the radar at that time of night. Two in the CIC and one on the bridge. But it's not like they never look away, get sleepy, or talk to the other watchstanders.
     
  6. machine shop tom

    machine shop tom Member

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    A monumental blunder on the part of the Fitzgerald. It is equipped with state-of-the-art radars and even in the dark, the container ship would have had navigation lights on. Plus, the Fitzgerald is maneuverable whereas the container ship is great at straight lines. Bottom line, the Fitzgerald should have been aware of the container ship FAR before the incident and taken appropriate action to prevent the collision.
     
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  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Review the chart track of the freighter.
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    We'll have to get the whole story, but here are a few thoughts. Interactions between ships are governed by the International Rules of the Road, which specify that in a crossing situation, where two ships' paths are going to cross, the one on the right has the right of way. In this case that would be the merchant, and Fitzgerald should have taken necessary avoiding action. On the other, if the merchant ship was overtaking or passing Fitzgerald, she would be responsible to do so safely.

    There is also the reversal of course by the merchant shortly before the collision; it will be interesting to hear the reason for that.

    I may be biased as a former Navy officer, but we generally didn't count on merchant ships to do the right thing or maintain awareness of the situation around them. They have minimal manning to save costs, maybe no more than one officer and a helmsman on watch. So as a practical matter we kept a good track on them and were ready to maneuver if necessary.

    As a practical matter there is also the "rule of gross tonnage"; it's a good idea to watch out for large, unmaneuverable ships in any circumstances.

    Many waterways these days have traffic management schemes, similar to air traffic control, by which the coast guard or equivalent tracks ships and directs their movements. No idea of anything like that was in effect at the scene of the collision.
     
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  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    No matter if the CO of the Fitzgerald is blameless, this will be the last ship he commands other than a tuna boat.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Why?

    My favorite story about a person making the "wrong call" and it not affecting his career would be 2nd Lt. Kermit Tyler. He's the guy who told the Opana Point radar station to "forget it" when they noticed a very large blip coming their way. He was not punished, because of the circumstances, and ended the war as a Major.
     
  11. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Regarding the path of the freighter - wonder about the times listed. Was the u turn before or after the collision?
    Are both ships reporting in the same time zone as the track?
    Heard something like- if it is painted grey, head away. Wonder what that means.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    1. Warships have the right of way.

    2. If a warship doesn't have the right of way, see #1.
     
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  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Kim Jong-Un just ordered the building of a number of these stealth container ships, since they have a demonstrated capability to get inside advanced US Navy sensor systems.
     
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  14. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    A clandestine tanker would be genius...imagine the weapon systems one could hide on a container ship! Any weapon system could be secreted inside...flick of a switch and a missile system, RC gun, torpedos, cruise missiles...even nukes!
     
  15. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    Because the US Navy works on the principle of, if one of our 1.843 billion dollar destroyers is damaged due to preventable negligence then the ships captain who is responsible for everything on board that ship including training and watch-stander readiness will be held accountable.

    Is it nice? No. Is it effective? Yes.
    There are more than enough commanders competing for a captains billet.
     
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  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Still don't see it happening that way.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not so sure. In fact I rather think otherwise. The military is all about calculated risk. This encourages risk avoidance. It also means people can't make use of any learning they achieve through their mistakes. Note that quite a few of the WW2 leaders made mistakes early in their careers that would have terminated them under this policy.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Think again...Sounds similar to the collision between the USS Kennedy and a wooden dhow back in '04.
    Collision course-  Navy relieves carrier CO

    Or the collision between the submarine USS San Francisco and the underwater seamount - the location of which not even specified in charts.
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    War does that...Things that would have ended peacetime careers would be overlooked, because the need for trained commanders is so great.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    War also changes the level of risk that is acceptable. An individual who is trained to avoid risks at all times will not do well at war.
     
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