USS Fitzgerald collides with ACX Crystal off coast of Japan


I understand very well why the Japan Transport Safety Board, JTSB, has suspended its investigation to determine the causes of the Fitz/Crystal collision and the damages incidental to such collision in Japanese waters. The owner of Fitz – USA/USN - has full rights to refuse cooperation, so the proximate cause of the collision cannot be established that way. The Philippine maritime authorities/accident investigators will probably be told the same thing. It means, as far as I understand, that the Owner, Master and crew of Crystal are innocent and that their H&M, LoH and P&I underwriters will pay them for any damages incurred, as long as they were insured against the risk of being run down by a foreign warship at sea.


which is of course the ship’s track in the minutes leading up to the collision and hence why this defacto proves the Navy’s guilt. Why provide evidence that shows you are in the wrong then you are not compelled to by any court or authority?


USS Fitzgerald senior officers relieved of command

Moran says the commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, based in Japan, is removing the top three sailors — the commanding officer, the executive officer and the command master chief — from duty aboard the Fitzgerald.

Dozen U.S. sailors to be punished for June collision: Navy


Fresh off the press from the USNI…a pair of U.S. Coast Guard officers opine on the state of military navigation skills, or the lack thereof.

Keep in mind that there’s an editor’s note at the bottom of the article itself, just above the footnotes, that reads as follows:

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted for publication before the collision involving the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62).


Detailed report on the post-collision damage control response by the crew of the FTZ. Quite an emotional read.


so what I read here is that the Navy admits there people are at fault yet they still refuse to release the FITZGERALD’s track!


Paragraph 2 on the very first page says this report of 11 Aug 17, “was limited to the events that occurred after the collision; other ongoing investigations address events that occurred prior to the collision.”

The pre-collision track you are interested in, therefore, would not be part of this report.


The USN has officially commenced with the beheadings…


The report does detail that the Fitzgerald was on CSE 230T heading to Subic and that the Crystal was inbound for Tokyo! Some missing pieces to this story, obviously.


If a sea monster caused this catastrophe, the beheadings would still happen.
There was loss of life and this was a huge debacle so someone has to hang.


Quite a few “someones” from the sound of things. I expect the bridge & CIC teams will not fare well as the investigations continue.

There will be blood…


And then there is this…


Fig.4 on pg.3 (file pg.5) of report “Diagram of collision points” indicates that Crystal in an “overtaking vessel” 30deg relative angle with FTZ. (It may mean this is where they finished up.)
However timeline listed in Encl.3 (file pg.22) says FTZ heading 230T at 0000. Crystal AIS info gave heading of about 080T (IIRC).
These headings would suggest relative crossing angle when approaching collision situation might have been 30deg off each other’s port/stbd bow! (possible last minute avoidance manoeuvre notwithstanding) Damn near head on!


Man, you weren’t kidding. I spent 3 years long ago living in a berthing area just like that, running all over the Pacific.

Reading that report and seeing the pictures made my blood run ice cold.

And there’s the confirmation, too: no damned collision alarm was sounded! WTF! That is just so bad and wrong…


If Fitzgerald’s course into the collision was 230°, and the AIS data from Crystal showed her course at about 80°, the impact was for both ships at starboard bow, at about 30°, right.
However, I did not see any damage on Crystal’s starboard bow.

With Fitzgerald’s destination at Subic Bay, the first mandatory passage would be the Luzon Strait. The bearing from the collision point to this overall waypoint is just 230°!

Did the report about damage control use the more theoretical bearing of 230° to the Luzon Strait, and not the true course of XX into the collision?



The report was a feel-good rag about what happened starting the moment AFTER the collision until the bodies of the lost sailors were removed from the vessel. Normal Navy bullshit, tear jerking and groundwork for duties above and beyond.

This release was an effort to control the flow of information and frame soon-to-be-released reports of fuck-ups to follow in a positive light. The headings, courses and actions before the collision are to be covered in later reports.


And while I’m drunk I have to say to all you twits and nitwits who read that report and get a lump in your throats about the tragedy and horrific moments following the collision you really need to get a clue.

You are being manipulated by the public relations machine. MANIPULATED.




How dare these fucktards try to frame dereliction of duty in such terms. Fuck them. Fuck them for releasing that report separate and before the real story. Fuck them for shoving a stick up our ass and telling us to like it.

No, seriously. Fuck them and fuck the sheep that weep while reading it.

If YOU read that report and feel anything short of anger you’re a fucktard yourself.

Manipulation. That’s all it is. Control of information flow. Using the imperiled and dead to paint a pretty picture.




Agreed, Urs - no damage on Crystal Stbd bow in spite of the relative headings as declared. Hence my “angle when approaching collision” and “last minute avoidance” comments. Furthermore, the FTZ declared heading was over an hour before collision.
However, if you think about the approach to collision on relative headings as above (230/080), the observed relative bearing of each other would have been closer to 15deg off the bow. That might explain in part Crystal bridge team not sighting FTZ inside a couple of miles, but radar…
It makes FTZ action/inaction all the more inexplicable.
Aside from all this, outstanding performance in Damage Control ops which saved so many. BZ!


… and another thing…
If Crystal OOW had sighted FTZ 15deg off Port bow and, like a normal person, had been assuming both vsls would alter course to Stbd as per Colregs, imagine the consequences if FTZ made a last-minute hard turn to port!
Oh, maybe we don’t need much imagination!


7th Fleet statement says "The collision was avoidable and both ships demonstrated poor seamanship."
I wonder was this statement first discussed with Japanese.
No facts presented to support his “… both…” opinion, but equal blame nevertheless? Where else have I seen this recently?