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Japan almost finished with probe into U.S. Navy ship collision

20 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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Japanese authorities said Monday that they were almost finished with their investigation into last month's collision between a Philippine freighter and a U.S. naval destroyer that left seven Navy sailors dead, but still haven't been given access to data from the U.S. side.

One wonders how they can be almost finished with their investigation when they don't have all the facts.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

One wonders how they can be almost finished with their investigation when they don't have all the facts.

More like Bertie wonders; Common sense and previously published information will tell you that not having all the information, not necessarily the"facts" is not an impediment to finishing an investigation.

Sometimes evidence itself is enough to come to a conclusion, that's what investigations are for in the first place.

The Japanese really don't need all the information to conclude their side of the investigation, it's become plainly obvious that the US vessel was in the wrong.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

If they couldn't avoid a giant container ship, how would they avoid a fast attack craft?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

if the radar systems failed, wouldn't they fall back on using their eyes to steer the ship? If they couldn't do that, wouldn't they communicate with nearby ships by radio?

I ask these questions as a total novice. I might be missing something important. But it seems as if the only two explanations are: 1) human error or a 2) technological problem that literally guided them into the path of the larger ship.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"And that's the fact that their radar system failed"

I doubt the system failed, it was the people manning the systems that failed, you can see a ship that large from quite a distance with your own eyes.

I read and article which stated the following;

Two defense officials told CNN that preliminary findings in the accident’s investigation suggest that the Fitzgerald's crew did not take action in the minutes leading up to the crash that killed seven U.S. sailors.

“They did nothing until the last second,” one official told CNN. “A slew of things went wrong.”

"Both officials said the initial investigation found that the Fitzgerald crew failed to understand and acknowledge the cargo ship was nearing and did not take any actions needed to avoid the hit, according to CNN."

CNN and their sources are sometimes questionable, But I have no doubt that the Navy will now take responsibility for the accident, but will most likely not go into too much detail of what went wrong!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

And that's the fact that their radar system failed.

More probably a failure of something between the ears! That or literally asleep at the wheel.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

More probably a failure of something between the ears! That or literally asleep at the wheel.

Indeed, the fact that they stuck with the later collision time for so long does suggest they were asleep or unconscious for at least an hour.

That, and/or they are lying. Perhaps, as Burning Bush mentioned, to hide serious system failures.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am a former U S Naval Offficer (1967-1971) and I think that the collision is a case of each ship thinking that it had the right of way. The Philippine freighter probably interpreted the situation as a crossing situation in which it, being on the right side, approaching the destroyer, would have the right of way and should maintain course and speed and the destroyer should maneuver to stay out of the way. On the other hand the destroyer interpreted the situation as the freighter, coming up on the starboard quarter of the destroyer to be one of an overtaking situation in which the overtaking ship, the freighter, has to maneuver to avoid the destroyer. In this case the destroyer would be obliged to maintain course and speed. I think each ship thought that it had the right of way and did nothing until it was too late.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Another quote, this time from Fox News!

There are two navigation teams aboard every Navy warship, one on the bridge where the ship is driven and another team below the bridge in the combat information center, where a backup chart and radar team are located. This means there were two teams of sailors that missed recommending and taking “decisive and early action,” 

The only way they could have had complete failure of all systems is if they lost power and were dead in the water. It has happened, it happened on the USS Midway, some bootcamp down in the Main Switchboard did something he was not supposed to do, and the whole ship was without power for over an hour, with birds in the air. That was an old ship, and way behind in technology! I don't think that could happen so easily in this day and age!

So again it all goes back to human error, and a lot of it. Maybe it was a young crew that was in need of more training, laziness, who knows? There are hundreds of excuses that can be given, but I am 99% sure that it is all due to human error!...... But then again, who knows?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There was a leak(?)/update about this on Reddit yesterday. It seems apparent as the case closes that it was indeed a failure on the US side to respond/reach for contact and moreover the laziness of many on board to assure everyones safety.

It also seems that one of the deaths was do to water being taken in and a sealing being done(he got trapped), even tho that person was one of the individuals helping move injured to a safe area(?)

Notot sure about this last part, but the upper part of negligence seems quite confirmed. Sourced on foreignpolicy.com u can google.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

but the U.S. military holds the right to investigate its naval vessel and has not cooperated with Japan's investigation, which is allowed under the bilateral status of forces agreement

Wow, what a great spirit of cooperation between allies! If the USN has nothing to hide, then why it does not cooperate?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I don't get what the point is in investigating this case from Japan's prospective view and why Japan is so obsessed with the investigation. I would understand if one of Japan's ship was in the accident but this is between the US and the Philippines. Japan really didn't lose anything from this incident. its like investigating a case of murder over in China with an American guy being killed (its not any of Japan's business). makes no sense.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I don't get what the point is in investigating this case from Japan's prospective view and why Japan is so obsessed with the investigation. I would understand if one of Japan's ship was in the accident but this is between the US and the Philippines.

The ship was Japanese owned. The registered port was in the Philippines.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All crew of the USA ship should of been detained, interrogated as happened to the Japanese ships philippino crew. Japanese police can find the real truth.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why are people looking for the most outlandish reasons for how this incident happened?

I'd say Frank Neal probably got it spot on and it was just a simple case of both ships misinterpreting who had right of way.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Don't worry North Korea, you can put your ICBMs away now. Nothing to be worried about now from the big, bad US Navy. Can't even avoid run ins with container ships. I guess that is pretty scary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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