USS Fitzgerald - Why So Quiet After Impact


The Crystal appears to have followed the recommended but voluntary TSS in the area, thus the turn would have been predictable to anybody with knowledge of the traffic pattern in the area.

Does the USN vessels receive and adhere to advise and recommendations from local authorities though??


This article from CNN yesterday:


If an activity that take 2.3 seconds to accomplish can require 20 + 45 min. of administrative work, there appears to be a lot of opening for improvements.

In out digital age there must be better ways of recording the results of a simple and routine test, as in your example.


The watch keeping system on US Navy systems is totally different from the system on merchant ships, anyway in my time. We had three officers who were responsible for the watches. The chief or first officer had the 0400-0800 and 1600-2000 watch. After getting of watch at 0800 hours he was busy for may be half an hour of instructing the boatswain and sailors, who started their work day at that time, about the days work which consisted mainly of rust and paint removal and repainting. We called it therapeutical, perpetual exercises that kept them out of harms way.

The second officer had the 0000-0400 and 1200-1600 watches. He sometimes had extra overtime duties in correcting seacharts for which he was responsible.

And finally the third officer who did the 0800-1200 and 2000-2400 hours watch. He was the youngest and required some extra attention by the captain who was awake during his watch keeping hours. He had to spend some time on administration, only a couple of times per week.

With this watch keeping system there was especially at sea no fatigue involved. The only time that this came in question was on mostly European trips going from one port to the other in short period of times. Apart from sometimes stressful navigation, making fore and aft when mooring and unmooring, there was the always the hectic cargo handling business which required utmost attention.


Sounds like the M/V Big Rock Candy Mountain. I never had a card old enough to get on that one.


Some Navy ships are shifting to the circadian watch rotation, where you have the same two 3-hour watches on both sides of the day, then sleep between the end of your 2nd watch and beginning of your 1st watch of the next day.

It takes a culture shift and is hard for some people to adapt to the reality of people going down to bed at 1500-1530, and some people not waking up until 0800. I’ve had people look at me like I’m dumb when I say that so-and-so isn’t available for whatever at 1800 for whatever because that’s in the middle of their sleep time, and I’m not fucking my watch’s rotation up for whatever random reason.


Sounds like that. On tankers during day time the tank cleaning/Butterwashing required attention but usually the boatswain was experienced enough to take care if that. However, especially safety supervision was still required.

We had no dead man button then. As the 0000-0400 watch was a lonely one most captains required a sailor on the bridge who most of the time had to steer the ship manually. That was done by a different sailor each night. This was necessary because due to the constant use of the autopilot it was found that the art of manual steering sometimes became a problem.


Dutchie, you go back a long time I can tell.
To the days when a big tanker was >20,000 DWT or so, with a crew of 40-45??
No COW and no segregated ballast?


Indeed it was a long time ago and I realize that the situation on board ships in those days is quite different and probably incomparable to that of the present time. I sailed in those days for instance on the Shell tanker Ondina, classic design, which had a tonnage of 53.444 dwt which was the company’s flagship and one of the biggest tankers around then…



We need more attitudes like this.