Following the great guidelines recently posted, I have read all the posts in the various threads about this incident. I am also starting this as a separate thread, so the moderators can simply delete if inappropriate.
To restate background, I am a retired (1965-1993) USN ship driver (a "mustang" or hausepiper), and a licensed Merchant Mariner.
Many of the posts have asked why nothing heard from the Fitz after the collision. In fact, it appears the first communication may have been their response to the JCG calling them, AFTER the Crystal reported the collision about 0225.
I am going to propose an extreme, and rather damning, case. What if the Fitz never saw what was coming at her? Yes, hard to imagine, but certainly possible considering the other things we (think we) know at this time. e.g. no apparent response to anything that may have come from Crystal, no evasive maneuvers, no sign of a collision alarm sounding, and no public call from the Fitz to JCG or others for assistance, etc.
So, out of the dark comes this bow and Fitz is shaken, holed, and flooding. If they really don't know what has occurred, and Crystal simply disappears into the darkness, they may not even be able to determine which nearby vessel was involved. Force Protection considerations immediately kick in and the Fitz has to consider that she may have been attacked. Reaction to this is certainly damage control, but will also include assessment of available weapons for defensive measures, attempts to assess the possibility/probability of a second, or follow-up, attack, and to prepare to defend as best as possible. If communications were available, it would certainly include a Flash precedence message to shoreside naval authorities, but would likely not include any initial public communication. And all this while trying to control flooding, restore power, and stay afloat.
I am not saying this is what happened, as I certainly have no more information than most on here. I am simply presenting another issue to consider as we ponder, and discuss, why the Fitz was quiet.
Now, other than "confusion on the bridge", why was they Crystal so quiet for 55 minutes? Based on the Captain's statement, she knew she had collided with another vessel.