Thursday, June 29, 2017

More on the collision of the USS Fitzgerald

An opinion from a former Navy Captain:
J.F. Kelly, a retired Navy captain who commanded three ships during his career, wrote in The San Diego Union-Tribune that he was firm in his belief that the majority of the fault of the collision rested with the failure of the destroyer’s crew who was on watch that night:
The damage to the starboard side of the destroyer and the bow of the container ship suggests a crossing situation. The international rules for the prevention of collisions at sea specify that the vessel to starboard (the container ship) is the stand-on vessel and the other ship (the destroyer) is the give-way vessel and is required to stay out of the way of the stand-on vessel.
The give-way ship’s actions are to be timely and deliberate so as to not introduce any doubt as to its intentions. The stand-on vessel is required to maintain course and speed until the risk of collision is deemed no longer to exist or until it becomes apparent that the actions of the give-way vessel alone are not sufficient to avoid a collision, in which case, it is required to take action by turning, slowing or stopping.
But slowing or stopping is difficult and in some cases, virtually impossible for a large merchant ship. By contrast, destroyers are very maneuverable.
Judging from the images of the damage, it’s easy to conclude that the destroyer failed to give way and should be held at fault. But it is premature to jump to any conclusions until the investigation is completed. There may well be fault on both sides.”
That was the assessment of Comrade Misfit, also a former Navy officer.

1 comment:

burt said...

The "rules of the road" also state that the more maneuverable vessel should give way to the less maneuverable vessel when a crossing situation exists and the stand-on vessel is more maneuverable.

But in any case, the container ship was less maneuverable so the destroyer should have given way.

This wasn't an "accident at sea". It was NEGLIGENCE at sea, and US sailors died as a result.

Court martial *NOW*.