The Crystal was built in 2008 and equipped with a B&W main engine, which I would assume could operate on HFO at reduced speed, or even during maneuvering? (Any Engineer who can confirm?)
It has now been confirmed that both vessels were heading for Tokyo Bay and all indications are that the collision happened with the relative angle of the vessels at or near 135 degr.,as seen from the Fritz, which indicate an overtaking situation, unless one or both vessels were making evasive turn(s) at the time.
What baffles me is the discrepancy between the reported time of collision (0230 hrs. L/T) and the plot showing the Crystal making a sharp turn at 1630 UTC (0130 hrs. L/T) and a 180 degr. turn at 1736 hrs. UTC. WHY???
This was a Container ship on her normal run, coming from Nagoya and heading to Tokyo. There is no logical explanation for such an action, unless it happened AFTER the collision.
I have no faith in the "conspiracy theory" that this was some sort of deliberate action to ram the Fritz. But even if it was, shouldn't the observers on the warship, being trained and naturally inclined to be suspicious of any unusual activity around them, have reacted?
Besides, the difference in maneuverability of a container ship and a destroyer should enable the last to avoid being hit, even if they became aware of the danger at a very late moment.
PS> This from a Reuters article today: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-navy-asia-idUSKBN199020