US Navy: 7 missing sailors found inside damaged destroyer USS Fitzgerald, June 2017

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Hiandmighty, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    Yeah, a talking head with speculation, and click bait headlines, yet, it could be a plausible scenario. :moo:

    "'I suspect, from the data, that the ACX Crystal was running on autopilot the whole time, and nobody was on the bridge. If anyone was on the bridge, they had no idea how to turn off the autopilot,' said Steffan Watkins, an IT security consultant and ship tracking analyst for Janes Intelligence Review, to DailyMail.com."

    ETA: It sounds like he is speculating perhaps from the Coast Guard advisory from last year

    https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg545/alerts/1016.pdf

    "Auto -pilot systems can reduce the monotony of steering by freeing up the helmsman to step away from the helm in order to perform other minor pilot house tasks and gain different navigational viewpoints. There are also disadvantages
    that have the potential to lead to negligent navigational practices. Over reliance on these systems can allow an operator to get too engrossed in performing other work on the bridge and, in some extreme cases, can lead to watchstanders leaving the bridge for extended periods of time. This inattentiveness to the vessel’s navigation has led to marine casualties....

    It should come as no surprise that when an inattentive operator meets with extreme circumstances, he or she usually has
    no time to take corrective actions. Also, in some past incidents, when there Inspections and Compliance Directorate Safety Alert
    was time to take corrective action, the operator’s lack of system knowledge hindered the need to rapidly change over from auto-
    pilot to manual steerage mode"
    .
    .
     
  2. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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    Autopilot &#8800; nobody in charge. Airplanes operate on autopilot all the time, but that doesn't mean that the pilot is not in charge at all times.
     
  3. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    I read an almost identical article a little bit ago that alleged that the Crystal was on auto pilot and no one on the bridge. Thats why it didn't detect the Fitz and why it continued on after the collision and had to later make the u-turn. I'm not a sailer; I was Army not Navy. But I thought it was odd that no one would be on the bridge of the container ship while it was under way. I can't imagine that is allowed. Of course, just because something isn't allowed doesnt mean it doesn't happen. But while this scenario explains why the Crystal didn't see the Fitzgerald and explains some its odd behavior after the collision, it doesnt at all explain why the Fitzgerald failed to see the Crystal and take evasive action. It may be that there was plenty of negligence to go around.
     
  4. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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    Investigators Believe USS Fitzgerald Crew Fought Flooding For An Hour Before Distress Call Reached Help
     
  5. Jennifer17

    Jennifer17 Former Member

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    Why is it the job of a US destroyer to track and intercept a freight vessel in International waters?
     
  6. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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    I don't know, but that is what they do all over the world. Political decisions I guess.
     
  7. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    [video=cnn;us/2017/06/21/navy-sailor-father-darrold-martin-intv-nr.cnn]http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/21/politics/xavier-martin-baldwin-cnn-newsroom-cnntv/index.html[/video]

    cnn.com

    In the above interview, the father of one who perished says that 36 minutes after the collision, one of those killed was active on WhatsApp. It leads me to believe that they were alive, but the watertight doors had closed to keep the water from flooding more areas, and to save the ship and lives of others - and those that perished knew they were entombed. (ETA: He is saying in the interview that the last WhatsApp was at 2:56 am... :thinking: That is much later than 36 minutes after the collision as the timing of the collision was moved to earlier at 1:30 am)

    :facepalm:

    unnamed-3.jpg
    https://news.usni.org /wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ unnamed-3.jpg
    View of the stateroom of Cmdr. Bryce Benson after the collision with ACX Crystal.

    Meanwhile, below decks, the glancing blow of Crystal&#8217;s bulbous bow had ripped a 10-feet-by-10-feet to 14-feet-by-14-feet hole below the waterline of the ship, flooding a machinery space the berthing area that was home to about half of the crew, the sailor said.

    The seven sailors who died aboard were sealed in the berthing area behind a watertight door as the ship&#8217;s company fought to keep the ship afloat

    In addition to the damage to the spaces, the collision knocked out Fitzgerald&#8217;s communications for the better part of an hour. At about the same time the crew was able to reactivate their backup Iridium satellite communications to radio for help, Crystal arrived on the scene and called in its own distress call, the sailor told USNI News.

    https://news.usni.org/2017/06/21/in...for-an-hour-before-distress-call-reached-help
    As to the captain...

    "The impact not only ripped a hole in the steel superstructure in the stateroom but also shifted the contents and shape of the steel so Benson was &#8220;squeezed out the hull and was outside the skin of the ship,&#8221; a sailor familiar with the damage to the ship told USNI News.
    &#8220;He&#8217;s lucky to be alive.&#8221; Fitzgerald sailors had to bend back the door of the stateroom to pluck Benson from the side of the ship and bring him inside.
     
  8. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    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 US Navy declined to comment and Reuters was not able to independently verify the account.

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/world/615940/uss-fitzgerald-stayed-on-collision-course-despite-warning-acx-crystal-captain/story/

    The incident has spurred six investigations, including two internal hearings by the U.S. Navy and a probe by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) on behalf of the National Transportation Safety Board. The Japan Transport Safety Board, the JCG and the Philippines government are also conducting separate investigations.

    Spokesmen from the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), U.S. Coast Guard and ship owner, Dainichi Invest, also declined to comment. Reuters was not able to contact Advincula, who was no longer in Japan.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-navy-asia-exclusive-idUSKBN19H13C
     
  9. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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    Well that pretty much blows the theory that the container ship was on autopilot, and no one was on the bridge. Unless the ship also flashed it's lights with no human intervention.
     
  10. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    Hmm, that is very interesting. Why was no one on the Fitzgerald paying attention? And why did the Crystal still continue on despite knowing it had just hit another ship? Still a lot of facts to come out I am sure.
     
  11. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    Strange from above post that it was 10 minutes before that they turned hard right as I had thought that the impact was 10 minutes after the slow 10% turn to port before the hard right. We'll see...


    And from what I have seen on their route, it was 10 minutes before that they turned 10 degrees to the left/port, and then the hard right angle to starboard.

    View attachment 118938 @16:15
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    View attachment 118939 @16:30
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    View attachment 118940 @16:33
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    View attachment 118941 Overall
    overall.JPG

    http://www.vesselofinterest.com/2017/06/mapping-acx-crystals-collision-with-uss.html
     
  12. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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    From the article, "The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship." They did take action. It's impossible to just stop a ship that size. They did all they could by taking evasive action. The rest is on the crew of the Fitzgerald. That's the question, why the destroyer didn't respond.
     
  13. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    The US Navy will hold a memorial service Tuesday for seven sailors killed in a collision with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan this month.

    The private gathering is being held at a naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, the home port of badly damaged destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, a navy spokesman said.

    The sailors' relatives, their 300 shipmates on the guided-missile destroyer and US military officials are expected to attend the service Tuesday morning

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4641870/US-Navy-hold-Japan-service-sailors-killed-crash.html
     
  14. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    WireAP_f15e03ec993445f49665ab2192bfb23a_12x5_1600.jpg

    The U.S. Navy paid tribute on Tuesday to seven sailors who were killed when their destroyer collided with a merchant ship off Japan.

    The Japan-based 7th Fleet said more than 2,000 sailors and their families attended the ceremony in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. They lined the streets waving flags in memory of the victims......

    The Navy is investigating what happened aboard the warship. Japanese authorities are investigating the container ship and its crew members.

    Ordinarily, Japan has the right to investigate maritime collisions in its territorial waters, but in the case of U.S. warships, the U.S. Navy has the primary right to do so under a bilateral Status of Forces Agreement, making it uncertain whether Japan will have access to the U.S. probe.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-navy-holds-memorial-service-sailors-killed-crash-48297430
     
  15. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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    Two different investigations is not going to help. The best thing for them to do would be to let the Japanese investigate it. But I doubt the US Navy will go for an independent investigation. So I don't think we will ever find out what really happened.
     
  16. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    Oh there will be AT LEAST two separate investigations. The US Navy will do theirs. The Japanese Coast Guard is conducting their own. The Status of Forces Agreement mentioned above doesn't prevent the Japanese from conducting an investigation, but it does place limits on how much the Nave has to cooperate with that investigation. so far id doesn't look like the USN is giving out any information, at least not publicly. We still don't even know the Fitzgeralds course. I'm just speculating, but I would say there was gross negligence by both ships' crews, with the bulk of the blame to go to the Fitzgerald.
     
  17. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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    The US Navy was 100% responsible for this disaster. So of course they want to investigate themselves. They are not going to cooperate with any independent investigation. So we will never find out what really happened.
     
  18. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    After nosing around online and at Wikipedia regarding ship collisions, I'm actually surprised at how many collisions and running agrounds there are. Some of these were caused by stupid stuff like someone confusing port and starboard - a USN ship indicated it was going to turn to starboard and then proceeded to promptly turn to port. And these collisions are for every type of vessel, it seems, including aircraft carriers.

    The Navy will demote or fire those deemed responsible and the taxpayers will foot the bill for the millions of dollars of repairs.
     
  19. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-navy-asia-idUSKBN19L0T8 Fri Jun 30, 2017 | 3:51am EDT

    U.S. likely to bar Japan investigators from interviewing warship crew, official says
    At least six investigations are being carried out, including two U.S. Navy internal hearings and one by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The Philippines government is also conducting an investigation.

    The U. S. Coast Guard, which is investigating on behalf of the National Transportation Safety Board, has interviewed the crew of the container ship.

    But the U.S. navy official, who declined to be identified, said warships were afforded sovereign immunity under international law and foreign investigators were not expected to get access to the U.S. crew.

    "It's unlikely Japanese or Philippine authorities will have direct access to crew members," said the U.S. official.

    The U.S. Coast Guard would instead provide summaries of crew interviews to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB), which would share them with the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), he said.

    Declining access may be viewed by Japanese investigators as falling short of a pledge made by Seventh Fleet commander Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin of full cooperation in the investigation. A Seventh Fleet spokesman said the navy would "share information in accordance with protocols."

    ___________

    And as to reference to above "share information in accordance with protocols", going back to quote an earlier Reuters article which states...

    "Complicating the inquiries could be issues of jurisdiction. Although the collision occurred in Japanese waters, international maritime rules, could allow the U.S. Navy to claim some authority over the investigations."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-navy-asia-idUSKBN19B0DE from Tue Jun 20, 2017 | 1:24am EDT

    ETA: I think everything for a while is going to be rehashing/reinforcing old information primarily, as this article today is.
     
  20. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    The NTSB investigation (conducted by the Coast Guard) final report will be public. And the Navy will have to cooperate with that to a good degree. But NTSB is very slow and methodical and so we likely wont hear anything for a while; a year maybe. So as Bently said above, we may not hear much new for a while. If we do it will probably be from the Japanese. I don't think we will be privy to what exactly caused this break down on the Fitzgerald, since that will probably be internal and confidential. But it just seems to me that once we can see what the USS Fitzgerald's course/track and speed was, we will know WHAT happened and who is at fault, though we may not know WHY it happened. I am still tending to believe the initial reports that the Crystal was under auto pilot at the time and that is why it returned to its original course and speed. Why it took 45 minutes to turn around is a mystery. But at this point, in my very limited opinion, even though going on auto pilot in a busy channel seems like a bad idea, it does not seem to have caused this collision.
     

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