U.S. Navy collision

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  #41  
Old 06-20-17, 04:31 PM
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Do ships have "black boxes"?
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  #42  
Old 06-20-17, 05:04 PM
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Brian

Way back when, I was the CIC watch officer when the ship grounded on a river shoal. We lost primary steering in a narrow channel and before after steering got control we were stuck. Before I could make the entry the XO came into CIC and confiscated the log.

Bad stuff, but in the long run it was OK. We had a good skipper and he managed to free the ship without damage so it would have sucked for him if the grounding had become part of the official record.

We did not have black boxes but every ordered maneuver, course and speed change is documented real time along with all contact data.
 
  #43  
Old 06-20-17, 05:09 PM
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why the Fitzgerald couldn't get out of the way.
Exactly!

Everyone should have the opportunity to see the stars without the interference of light and atmospheric pollution.
Oh no! We keep it to ourselves. That and phosphorescent wakes. Let all the landlubbers take planes.
 
  #44  
Old 06-20-17, 05:16 PM
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You didn't have black boxes then, do they have them now?
 
  #45  
Old 06-21-17, 11:55 AM
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This article gives a clearer picture than I have of how a collision like this could happen. Written by a retired destroyer captain it is long but worth a read if you have the time.
 
  #46  
Old 06-21-17, 10:21 PM
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As to black boxes...I really don't know. Possible that all the different systems have some sort of individual data recorders built in, but I've never heard of such a thing.

Good article BTW. And he was right about one thing for sure. None of us, incl him, were there.
 
  #47  
Old 06-22-17, 12:47 PM
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Last edited by Esand1; 06-22-17 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Weird cookie problems
  #48  
Old 06-22-17, 03:52 PM
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Possible that all the different systems have some sort of individual data recorders built in, but I've never heard of such a thing.
Google came to the rescue. There is something called Voyage Data Recorder. Scroll down to see a jpg if you don't want to read the entire site.

Know about the Black Box in ships
 
  #49  
Old 06-22-17, 04:18 PM
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Well, I meant for combatant vessels. Pretty sure there are exemptions for them since rarely do they use any sort of commercial navigation or communications equipment. I don't see a specific inclusion, nor do I see a specific inclusion. I'm not reading hundreds of pages of regulations to verify.
 
  #50  
Old 06-22-17, 04:51 PM
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I'm not reading hundreds of pages of regulations to verify.
Me either. At this point, until we get some type of report, there isn't much more to say about it.
 
  #51  
Old 06-22-17, 08:40 PM
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From a former navy capitan by way of the San Diego Union Tribune

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-utbg-navy-ships-collision-20170622-story.html

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 shipís 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, itís 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.
What this makes me wonder if maybe the Fitzgerald didn't try to cross in front of the other ship on a safe trajectory before suffering some kind of partial engine failure that left her without the speed to make it across the other ships path?
 
  #52  
Old 06-23-17, 06:35 AM
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The last two paragraphs of the quote from the former Navy captain serve to explain why it's sometimes impossible to follow the "give-way" rule. If certain circumstances determine that a law can't be followed, it shouldn't be a law at all.

Your personal guess as to why the Navy ship attempted but failed to follow the "give-way" rule could be true. However, that possibility has to wait just like all the others until we see some type of report. Should we start a pool as to when that will be?
 
  #53  
Old 06-24-17, 08:46 AM
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CNN just reported that the container ship was on auto pilot. There are 3 investigations, Coast Guard, Navy & Japanese. 5 of the 7 sailors were asleep where the container ship it. The communication equipment was also there. That forced the Navy to use satellite phones.
 
  #54  
Old 06-24-17, 11:13 AM
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That makes the hypothesis put forward in one of the early links in this thread seem pretty good (That guy even called the collision as actually being at 1:30 before any of the official news confirmed it). His theory was:

Collision. Autopilot in charge. Crystal deflect to starbord after hitting Fitzgerald on the port side. Autopilot then returns to course while the crew on container ship tries to figure out what happened/wake up their capitan/turn of the autopilot. They turn off the auto pilot and circle back around but stopping and turning takes them 50 min. They call it in and stay there for a while before heading off.

That seems like a convincing fit to the picture of the Crystal's path.




The mystery still remains of how the collision happened. Everyone writing about this seems to say that standard procedures would be to have awoken the Capitan if another ship got close, well before they got close enough to be hit. Him still being in his cabin makes you think that the Fitzgerald's sensing equipment just didn't see the Crystal. Which is kind of hard to believe, of course that "hard to believe" is based on my detailed knowledge of radar/sonar from Hollywood movies so .
 
  #55  
Old 06-24-17, 11:28 AM
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The thing that adds to the head scratchiness is that based on that telemetry data from the container ship it looks like it was heading in a completely straight line at a constant speed right up until the collision. That would lead me to think that estimating it's future position would be relatively simple for the navigation equipment/team of the Fitzgerald. Who knows?

Does anyone know if its common for those large ships to be on autopilot most of the time even in crowded areas like the one where the collision occurred?
 
  #56  
Old 07-01-17, 01:25 PM
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Reuters apparently got a look at the report from the cargo ship's Capitan to his bosses.

Exclusive: U.S. warship stayed on deadly collision course despite warning - container ship captain | Reuters
 
  #57  
Old 07-01-17, 02:49 PM
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Basically, the captain of the cargo ship is saying that the Navy ship 'cut them off' to use a street term. He warned them with flashing lights. We'll see what the next report says.
 
  #58  
Old 07-01-17, 05:52 PM
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Well if he was passed out drunk and nobody was on watch, I doubt he'd have put it in his report.

Something I saw elsewhere that puts into doubt what he said was that to warn about a collision he should have been sounding the horn, not flashing the lights but that use of the horn is recorded on the 'black box' while a spotlight wouldn't be.

Lots of theories floating around, surprised that nobody from either ship has been talking to the media. I'm sure they've all been told not to but that usually doesn't stop people. One theory I've seen is that the northward turn by the container ship a few minutes before the collision is consistent with the traffic scheme in the area and would have altered their trajectory but maybe not how the lights would look visually to a ship running more or less parallel so its possible that if you were relying just on visual identification you might not realize that what you had previously thought was a safe trajectory wasn't any longer until the last minute. Of course, navy ships don't rely on only visual identification...
 
  #59  
Old 07-01-17, 06:49 PM
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Obviously, the guy flashing the lights on the cargo ship wasn't passed out drunk.

Lots of theories floating around,
Pun intended?
surprised that nobody from either ship has been talking to the media.
Talking to the media would be stupid. I would never talk to the media about anything.
 
  #60  
Old 07-01-17, 07:07 PM
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that to warn about a collision he should have been sounding the horn
Exactly.

They also have this new invention called "radio" and people can use it to talk to each other even from a distance. And since the crew was Filipino, I'm pretty sure they spoke English just fine and likely some on the DDG even spoke Tagalog.
 
  #61  
Old 07-01-17, 07:29 PM
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If the crew on any ship can't see flashing lights at 1:30 AM, they shouldn't be there.
 
  #62  
Old 07-01-17, 08:19 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1b58yelh_c

I came across a link to this youtube video of the tracking data that has been posted here a few times. It's pretty interesting because you can see other near by ships (not the Fitzgerald).

I think a lot of the case for the ship on autopilot and nobody on the bridge (which I thought was plausible) was how the Crystal basically returned to its course for 20 or so minutes before heading back to check on what they hit. But if you look at the video and the other ships displayed you can kind of see how maybe even without autopilot they might have been forced into that kind of path by the other traffic. Also in the video, before the collision you can see that the Crystal is more or less parallel with the Wan Hai 226, the Fitzgerald possibly somewhere in between.
 
  #63  
Old 07-01-17, 08:39 PM
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If the crew on any ship can't see flashing lights at 1:30 AM, they shouldn't be there.
That's not the point! It's like saying "But Officer, I flashed my headlamps, the other driver should have know I was turning!".

It's not a standard procedure. I'll bet every nickle I own that the DDG was AWARE of the ship...they just reacted incorrectly (or didn't react at all). It's called loss of situational awareness. I had it happen to me once as inport OOD and I basically called a stop to EVERYTHING until I got the bubble back. Of course that's a lot harder to do when underway.
 
  #64  
Old 07-02-17, 06:29 AM
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[quote]That's not the point![quote]
It's my point & it's valid.
 
  #65  
Old 07-02-17, 12:11 PM
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EDITED: There is something seriously wrong with the back end of this forum, sometimes I see posts in 1 order, some times I see it in another. I was originally replying to an old post that looked new.


It's hard to judge scale in those pics, does anybody know how big those anchors are?
 
  #66  
Old 07-02-17, 11:40 PM
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Make sure you are logged in...it can really look strange if you try to type a reply and you aren't.

As to the anchors...I really don't know. How large is a shipping container like shown on the deck? The anchor doesn't really look that big...may 5-10,000 lbs or so? Typical standard stockless anchor. Remember, unlike small boats, anchors don't hold the ship in place. All they do is pull out and anchor the CHAIN in place. It's the weight and drag of the chain that holds the ship. An aircraft carrier (way bigger both in size and displacement than the Crystal) chain is about 400 lbs PER link of anchor chain. So only about about 150 links equals 30 tons. Far, far more than the anchor needed to get it started pulling out.

Sorry, if I'd been a deck monkey, I'd probably remember more exactly.
 
  #67  
Old 07-03-17, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Esand1
It's hard to judge scale in those pics, does anybody know how big those anchors are?


The long shipping containers are 40', the short ones are 20', and they're 8' wide.
 
  #68  
Old 07-03-17, 08:39 AM
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That's a good way to judge as Hal S said, 40' and 20' containers. Just look at any semi-truck going down the road carrying a 40' container, only one container can carry quite a bit of cargo and this ship has hundreds or thousands of them.

Back in the day I was at Subic Bay Philippines and part of my duties was loading these ships out.
They are big to put it mildly. Look up gantry crane and that will give you an idea of what it takes to load one. I didn't actually load them but prioritized, we are talking a crazy amount of cargo.

Like Gunguy said the anchor is only to pull the chain down.
 
  #69  
Old 07-03-17, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Handyone
They are big to put it mildly.
Wonder if that's part of the problem...

I'll guess that the Fitzgerald's radar pinged that big steel cargo ship stacked with steel containers as soon as it came over the horizon...

Saw it for SOO long that eventually it was considered a stationary contact,
not a closing really, really slowly contact, until it was too late.
 
  #70  
Old 07-03-17, 01:13 PM
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Hal it was actually moving quite briskly (relatively speaking).

Your comment about it being incredibly visible to radar made me think, aren't some of these navy vessels designed to have a low radar profile? It's kind of easy to imagine that the night bridge on the container ship in a busy shipping lane were looking mostly at the radar and the open source vessel tracking and paying less attention to their eyes.

The bit about the anchor is mainly because the damage on the cargo ship directly above the anchor would imply that basically the whole anchor ended up in the FItz. Even if most of the weight is in the chain I assume they're rather substantial pieces of metal. I mean the container ships bow has a hole in it and the anchor doesn't seem to have been damaged at all.
 
  #71  
Old 07-08-17, 11:36 AM
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If there is relative motion between the two ships it will be obvious. Surface contacts are usually charted at least every two minutes. Closer or closing contacts (near constant bearing, decreasing range) more frequently.
 
  #72  
Old 07-21-17, 05:08 AM
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https://www.wsls.com/news/national/i...rald-collision

Early reports have blamed the Navy for the collision saying that they waited until the last minute to try to avoid it.
 
  #73  
Old 08-17-17, 08:23 PM
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  #74  
Old 08-17-17, 10:22 PM
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That's what we said. CO, XO, OOD, JOOD, NAV, CICWO/TAO, etc. May be a few enlisted catch some crap too, but nothing like those guys.

And wow, could that news report have been any briefer?
 
  #75  
Old 08-18-17, 03:44 AM
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Here's a more inclusive report. LINK

"Loss of situational awareness by the bridge/CIC crew"
 
  #76  
Old 08-18-17, 07:26 AM
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The BBC report was worthless. Fox was a little better. Did we really learn anything?
 
  #77  
Old 08-18-17, 09:56 AM
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The investigation continues. The news reports simply provided some preliminary information. I don't think that anyone that has been around the Navy was surprised that the ship's leadership has been relieved. I also expect that some crew members, including the CO, and primarily the OOD, may face a Court Martial if the preliminary findings hold up.

"Loss of situational awareness," given the ship's circumstance, is pretty damning.
 
  #78  
Old 08-18-17, 10:22 AM
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I understand that the investigation will continue. The fact that Fox's report was better than the BBC's report was a little bit of a surprise. I'm not a Navy guy like you are so I'm looking at it as an outsider. My father was a Navy officer during WWII. They sent him to Sicily to learn French. No one was court martialed for that.
 
  #79  
Old 08-18-17, 03:31 PM
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Hmmm, i think someone use that term "situational awareness" back in post 63.
 
  #80  
Old 08-21-17, 05:27 AM
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And, it just happened with the McCain.

I can't believe that we'd have two cases of horrible navigating, this close together in time.
So, what's going on?

I wonder if this is a general tactic to deal with silkworm anti-ship missiles,
US Navy ships sailing close to big commercial traffic to stay in the radar shadow of the bigger freighters?
 
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