USS J McCain / Alnic MC collision near Singapore


#304

Not critising just seeking understanding


#305

The limiting factor would be the competency of the OOD.

In the case of steering loss, I would guess that on a powerful, lightweight, twin screw ship heading control could be restored in seconds using the engines.


#306

Standard loss of steering is to use the engines to steer via the twin shafts, however if a ship is trailing a shaft and only has one engine online she can’t do that as effectively. In this scenario, about to enter the straits, it’s normal to at least be at split plant so you have more power available, as well as redundancy(you won’t go DIW by losing an engine).

If you lose steering on the bridge, you’d instantly pass the word for a loss of steering and to man aft steering. While that’s happening, the helmsman switches to the emergency backup steering cables and tests for rudder control.

If that fails, you shift steering to aft steering, who can steer electronically on orders from the bridge. If that fails, they can use the local motor controllers, if that fails they go to manually controlling the fill and drain pumps, then hand wheels.

If all that fails, there are giant as fuck ratchets back there that they can attach to the rudders to try and get them back to zero degrees of rudder.

All that said, if you have a physically jammed rudder none of that helps, as you can’t bring the force needed to unjam it.


#307

If one ship, in an area of dense traffic, suffers a steering breakdown, she can still avoid a collision provided her OOW makes the necessary sound signals, the VHF warning calls, NUC lights etc to warn other ships in vicinity to keep clear; and if other vessels also take prompt avoiding action. A lot has to go wrong before two ships collide.
Even when a collision is inevitable, the impact can be lessened by reducing the angle of impact through necessary manouevre by both ships. When a ship gets T-Boned by another, it indicates gross incompetence.


#308

It one thing to sit at a computer and make a list of what the watch "should have done’ It’s another thing to have it happen when it has to happen.

The engineers switch over power to do the two hour load test for the emergency diesel generator. Minutes before that happens I tell the watch officer that when power is switched every single alarm in the bridge is going to go off but what I want the watch officer to do is ignore the alarms and switch to hand steering and see if the ship has steering control.

So what happens when the power is switched and every alarm in the wheel house is sounding? The mate takes a couple steps towards the loudest alarm, turns and heads in the direction of the higher number of alarms, turns again, basically in a loop. Meanwhile I’m there yelling swich to hand steering. and they still can’t do it. ( I do this so the mate will do the right thing in case of an emergency).

Point being people in an emergency do what people do in an emergency, not what they do sitting at a computer in a quiet room. The real world is much more confusing.


#309

True enough, and most of the time you don’t get the full measure of someone’s ability to react in a situation until you actually see them in that situation.

The saying goes “A drill is a bloodless battle, and a battle is a bloody drill,” but realistically the feeling is much different when shit’s actually on the line and you’re actually standing into danger, whether that be from incoming ordnance, or an incoming ship that you failed to avoid.


#310

In this situation, when overtaking another vessel a few hundred yards off, there wouldn’t be time for any of that to happen before impact.


#311

We, who are familiar with the rules of the sea, know that merchant ships underway shall display (i) a white masthead light forward, (ii) a second white masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one, except that a vessel of less than 50 metres in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such light but may do so, (iii) green/red sidelights and (iv) a white stern light.

If these rules apply to USN ships and submarines is beyond me. State ships can do what they like.

Then there is a rule for air-cushion vessels, when operating in the non-displacement mode. They shall, in addition to the lights prescribed for normal displacement ships exhibit an all round flashing yellow light.

Finally we have the Wing-In-Ground (WIG) effect vehicles. They shall, in addition to the lights prescribed for normal ships exhibit a high intensity all-round flashing red light when they fly above the seas.

I know that USN hates to tell us where it is, but why not display a high intensity all-round flashing blue light at night to show off. When the ENEMY attacks, USN can switch it off.

USN could also use pink or yellow flashing lights to inform us where it is.


#312

Well besides the fact that they are not law enforcement unless they have some coasties on board and are actively conducting law enforcement operations, why tell them to do yet another thing wrong?


#313

Luckily there are not many USN ships around but they have an extremly high probability to be rammed by merchant ships not seeing them, it seems. Of course the USN ships are lightly built with minimum scantlings and are ripped apart in collision contact with normal ships and drowning sailors trapped in 50+ berthings (cabins) below waterline. To save lives I just suggest that USN could fit and activate a an all-round flashing blue light when they approach other ships to tell them to stay away regardless of any rules.


#314

I’m sorry. I guess I mistook your sarcasm for stupidity.

How about we just encourage them to know and follow the rules of the road like most other vessels and help them figure out how not to have collisions?

That would be a good start.


#315

That’s reserved for police vessels, which the Navy isn’t.


#316

Turning on the AIS in congested waters would be a good start.


#317

I think the stupidity call was correct. And/or a troll.


#318

We, who are familiar with the rules of the sea, know that merchant ships underway shall display (i) a white masthead light forward, (ii) a second white masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one, except that a vessel of less than 50 metres in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such light but may do so, (iii) green/red sidelights and (iv) a white stern light.
If these rules apply to USN ships and submarines is beyond me. State ships can do what they like.

They absolutely apply to the USN, and all Navy ships.

Navy ships have their navigation lights on at all times unless the actual tactical situation means doing so would put the ship in danger of coming under fire. Even during war games we run our nav lights, despite it potentially putting whatever “side” we’re on at a disadvantage.


#319

On the open sea, international waters, no national police vessels can do much for obvious reasons.

In national waters the local police can do what they like, but not in international waters.

I must say I haven’t understood the purpose of USN ships speeding around in the fairways around the world full of peaceful, merchant ships. Why can’t the USN ships simply speed around and collide somewhere else?


#320

Rule 8b is the way to go!


#321

Rule 8 : Action to avoid collision goes:

(b) Any alteration of course and/or speed to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be large enough to be readily apparent to another vessel observing visually or by radar; a succession of small alterations of course and/or speed should be avoided.

Maybe USS J McCain didn’t avoid the collision?


#323

They got T-boned!!! Of course they didn’t avoid the fucking collision!


#324

We, who are familiar with the rules of the sea, know that merchant ships underway shall display (i) a white masthead light forward, (ii) a second white masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one, except that a vessel of less than 50 metres in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such light but may do so, (iii) green/red sidelights and (iv) a white stern light.

If these rules apply to USN ships and submarines is beyond me. State ships can do what they like.

Then there is a rule for air-cushion vessels, when operating in the non-displacement mode. They shall, in addition to the lights prescribed for normal displacement ships exhibit an all round flashing yellow light.

Finally we have the Wing-In-Ground (WIG) effect vehicles. They shall, in addition to the lights prescribed for normal ships exhibit a high intensity all-round flashing red light when they fly above the seas.

I know that USN hates to tell us where it is, but why not display a high intensity all-round flashing blue light at night to show off. When the ENEMY attacks, USN can switch it off.

USN could also use pink or yellow flashing lights to inform us where it is.

Is this a joke? i don’t get it a pink flashing light would be kind of funny though. From your comments I can tell you haven’t worked around many navy vessels. Bottom line their’s an operational problem that finally might get addressed they don’t need special rules just follow the ones that are in place. We won’t even talk about good seamanship.