this just released…72 pages telling a sorry tale of idiots asleep at the wheel
Save you the trip. Here’s the report http://s3.amazonaws.com/CHINFO/USS+Fitzgerald+and+USS+John+S+McCain+Collision+Reports.pdf
first with the FITZGERALD that there was no lookouts on either bridgewing in such congested waters boggles the mind but even worse with the McCAIN that there was the entire command structure on the bridge and allowed the ship to proceed with a steering casualty in equally congested waters. WHY THE FUCK DID THEY TRY TO STEER WITH ENGINES WHEN IN THE MIDST OF SO MANY OTHER VESSELS!?! THEY HAD THREE FUCKING MINUTES TO STOP THE SHIP TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING!
I don’t know which reads worse; the crew on the Fitz dumb-assedly close-shaving several crossings until their luck ran out or the entirety of the command structure of the McCain flailing about trying to solve one problem and creating ten more.
Whats more troubling is the recap of the Fitz collision reads a hell of a lot like the recap of the Porter collision in the Persian Gulf a few years back.
With regards to the Fitzgerald the report stated (page 22) that there were lookouts on the port side but not on Stbd. Apparently there were lookouts but that they were inadequately supervised.
The McCain had a perceived Steering Casualty but in actuality none existed. Steering was never lost (page 48). It was personnel on the bridge turning switches without knowledge of the resulting circumstances or informing others what was done.
The CO on the McCain attempted to slow the ship but only the port shaft was slowed which aggravated the turn to port.
You are correct the helm was transferred to a station where no one was in fact on the helm and the rudder moved to midships as is normal when one transfers to another control station.It is good practice to place the control station you are transferring from to midships before making the transfer.
As regards situational awareness the bridge team on the Tanker would have consisted of the master, chief mate, helmsman and a lookout. They would have been presented with an unusual configuration of navigation lights. I’m not sure if they had a second steaming light as smaller warships are sometimes exempt.
There was no AIS and a weak radar signature by design.
It appears like a bundle of clueless kinds playing with an expensive toy without having read the instruction manual.
BTW; I noticed that they are equipped with CPP but the pitch was on kept at 100.1% and slowing down was done by reducing RPM, at least initially.
Wouldn’t reducing pitch be a better way of doing it??
The view from Singapore’s CNA:
PS> I like this statement;
Yes they obviously have plenty of mistakes to learn from, not to mention near misses not reported on.
Nobody would argue with that statement though.
That report is crap. It’s like a stupid child’s book report written the morning it’s due.
Admitting an accident is avoidable is like saying water is wet. What were the CAUSES? Talking point tech-babble like ‘failed to follow the international rules of the nautical road’ will sound great to maritime naives but are self evident to us.
Example: FITZ didn’t follow the RoR. Great. Why? Lack of training? Great. Why? Was training backburnered? Was RoR training not considered important. Was there a funding shortage for RoR training? Was there a cultural aspect that prevented following the rules? And so on.
Facts without much critical thinking. I guess no one can get in trouble this way - except for the dead sailors but they’re dead already so no harm.
Yes, the report is very simplistic, as if it were written to distribute to the press. And who in the Navy refers to the head as a “bathroom?”
There are no recommendations as would be typically found in a marine casualty report. Which this certainly isn’t.
“Bathroom” is obviously a concession to the public. The meaning is the same. But red lighting “to facilitate crew rest”??? I guess dark adaptation went out the window, since nobody is looking out the window anyway.
I’m not looking to pick nits with you here, but terminology is important in formal investigations. This document (I hardly call it a casualty report) is littered with enough “concessions to the public” to reinforce the appearance that the Navy has become a bunch of dilettantes.
True, the diagram says one thing and the written report another. If I recall correctly during my time on a DD, bridge manning comprised of the OOD, JOOD, Helmsman, Lee Helmsman, Quartermaster, Bosuns Mate of the watch and 2 lookouts. It was a small bridge and got crowded fast. Not sure why lookouts would not have been there or at least one assigned.
Edited to reflect I my experience was on a DD on a DDG.
Not sure what is being said.
From the report:
Watchstanders performing physical look out duties did so only on FITZGERALD ’s left
(port) side, not on the right (starboard) side where the three ships were present with risk of
Typically in any wheelhouse, military or commercial any watchstanders present in the wheelhouse that are not tending to other duties are expected to keep a lookout. Perhaps the report is referring to the crew watching but not assigned. however perhaps there were no dedicated lookouts.
The other thing I don’t understand is the “conn” position in the diagram. From the report the OOD had the conn so I don’t think there was a third officer on the bridge. Maybe the meaning is that the conning officer was present in the bridge.
I agree. I am not familiar with that position. I assumed the OOD has the 'conn" unless the CO or a someone like that announced he was taking the conn from the OOD. That is why he is the OOD after all. Perhaps someone will enlighten me.
From the report:
These vessels were eastbound through the Mikomoto Shima
Vessel Traffic Separation Scheme
But from the illustration it doesn’t look like the vessels were using the TSS.
The track of the Crystal does not match the track from earlier reports. Previous AIS based reports had the Crystal on a steady track with a single course change south of Mikimoto. This one shows a big course change at 0115 hrs.
I agree, this report spends very little effort to describe the events leading up to the collisions which is where the Navee FUCKED UP but painfully details what happened afterwards which in the Navee’s eyes was all glorious heroics on their parts
I notice from the Fitzgerald Report (8.2) the following:
It looks like the US Navy live in their own little world. The area is close to their home base and training grounds, yet they are not informed of the existence of the TSS??
And in 8.3:
The statement about “the Navy learning from their mistake” may be about the future, not the past then??
“We promise to do better next time.”
and the moral of the story is that even though the Navee might be made up of many very smart people as an organization it is in fact quite STOOPID and cannot actually learn anything unless there is a disaster of their own making. whether these two needless and completely avoidable incidents of HUMAN FAILURE will never be repeated is of course the biggest question. We already have seen the PORT ROYAL, the PORTER and the GUARDIAN before these most recent accidents and they were all caused by human error but this time more that a dozen innocent lives were snuffed out so WILL THE VAUNTED, GRAND AND GLORIOUS US NAVEE FINALLY LEARN THAT THEY ARE NOT THE BEST AT EVERYTHING AND IN MANY CASES ARE FAR FROM IT? THEIR OWN ARROGANCE IS SO WELL ESTABLISHED THAT EVEN SUCH A PIFFLE OF A REPORT AS THIS COMING FROM THEM IS STUNNING TO SAY THE LEAST!