The collision between USS Porter (DDG 78) and the Panamanian-flagged bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan occurred on August 2012 at approximately 1:00 a.m. local time. The USS PORTER, a destroyer of the same class as the FITZGERALD and McCAIN, was transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
The PORTER maneuvered to port to attempt to get around contacts ahead of it, passing the bow of one freighter astern and then was hit by a supertanker it had not seen because it was screened behind the first freighter. Many of the previous collisions involved a loss of situational awareness by an at-least-partly fatigued crew. The Porter’s action was described as that it had pulled a Crazy Ivan maneuver.
What you hear on the taped recording on the Destroyer’s bridge is that there is no control over the situation, no situational awareness and there is mayhem, panic, miscommunication before being rammed in starboard side and saying at the end of the recording that they are being hit in de portside. Impact sounds at about 3:10 min.
The recording was made thanks to a small digital recorder, attached with Velcro to a steel support near the bridge-to-bridge radio for a recent tasking—not part of normal ship’s equipment—recorded the conversations and orders of the bridge team up to and including the actual collision.
The Navy wouldn’t be the Navy if they hadn’t turned this into a success story and a source of pride.