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Aircraft, vessels search for missing U.S. sailors

30 Comments
By EUGENE HOSHIKO and KOJI UEDA

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Difficult to tell precisely what happened on the bridge of the Fitzgerald and what the visibility was at the time of the collision. Judging from the photos, Fitzgerald was struck on the starboard side by the port bow of the container ship. That means that Fitzgerald appears to have been crossing the bow of the container ship. Under navigation rules the Fitzgerald should have at least seen the port navigation light (red) of the container ship. In a crossing situation like that the Fitzgerald was the "give way" vessel and was required to take whatever action may have been necessary to remain clear of the "stand on" vessel (the container ship). That simple fact, without all of the electronic devices and communications gear on both ships appears to put the Fitzgerald at fault. Much easier to stop (steer) a highly maneuverable destroyer than a fully laden container ship. The bottom line is that seven U.S. Navy sailors are missing at sea and a major warship has been badly damaged. It will require an exhaustive investigation to determine precisely what occurred. Hopefully, the missing men will be found and will have survived.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Burning BushToday07:17 am JSTI Putin made a deal with Duterte and had this system tested yet again on the container ship, thus explaining the unusual course change of the container ship.

The M/V ACX Crystal is a Japanese owned, Panama registered, Philippine flagged ship.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

CrazyJoe, I appreciate your comments on this, both from yesterday and this morning. Thanks.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Anyways, what's your explanation for this? 

I'm guessing whatever the explanation, it will be similar to what happened in April this year when a Russian navy surveillance vessel collided with a freighter carrying sheep in the Bosphorus strait and sank. The sheep freighter continued on its way with minimal damage. Unfortunately, these things happen in busy shipping lanes.

https://www.rt.com/news/386326-russian-navy-ship-crashes/

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It's funny that the Philippine crew are all detained and interrogated while as mentioned by crazyjoe, and logic, it should be the whole crew of the worlds most advanced ship who should be also detained.

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Burning BushToday07:53 am JSTThe M/V ACX Crystal is a Japanese owned, Panama registered, Philippine flagged ship.

Indeed, and loaded with hundreds of large containers from all over the world.

Anyways, what's your explanation for this? You're either looking at Abott and Costello level human error or the AEGIS is not the famed Death Star but more of a Millennium Falcon.

Ship collisions occur far more frequently than generally reported in non-maritime related news sources. No point in speculating, current investigations by both USN and JCG will provide an answer. It shouldn't be all that surprising though that such unbelievable accidents occur, the Ehime Maru case being one.  A few years ago I recall a JDMSF DDG I think it was JS Kirishima that cut a fishing boat in half on her way back from exercises in Hawaii.

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Ship collisions occur far more frequently than generally reported in non-maritime related news sources.

This is true, but when large ships collide it is usually due to one or both vessels not keeping a proper bridge watch. Ships have proximity warning devices in their radar systems that keep track of vessels, along with an AIS that describes the other ships in range right down to the number of rivets in the hull. I have one in my humble sailboat that is a mere 17 tons. I have an autopilot that takes care of the mundane steering task on long voyages. I have spent a significant amount of time on the high seas as well as crowded coastal waters. I can tell you ships do not keep a proper watch for other traffic. These warning devices do not work if the alarms are turned off or down. Too many of the collisions are the result of the ship being on autopilot, the annoying warning buzzer turned down or off and the bridge watch asleep or surfing Facebook. Can't happen on a front line Navy ship? Well we are speculating on just that right now aren't we? If i had to make an educated guess, i would say that both ships are guilty of poor watch keeping and one panicked.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have sustained any major structural damage".

This statement appears to be incorrect. The Crystal appears to have major structural damage to her bow, (a gapping 2 X 4 meter wide hole). The anchor is a good reference for the size of the hole. The anchor is approximately 3 meters or greater in length and size. We have know idea what is going on under the water line.

To armchair quarterback this when 7 seamen are unaccounted for is premature and insensitive to the next of kin who will be notified that there child paid the ultimate price for America.

Let's wait for the official report to come out and see what they say and then pass judgment. Remember this ship is operating in friendly waters and the Aegis system may not have been active at the time of the collision.

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I pray the seven sailors are found safely and they recover from their trauma. I pray the injured sailors recover from their injuries. I pray for the familes and loved ones of the injured and missing, that they may find comfort and solaise. I pray for the crews searching for the missing. I pray for all seamen and sailors that they may return home safely.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Someone's getting fired no doubt about it.,  Billions of dollars of equipment but question is was it working? Hmmm, what do the US enemies think about this, a vulnerability, the US taxpayer spent money yet again to some Contract company for worthless junk, and finally the media itself for posting information that does its own ally no good "The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement that the crash damaged two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room. Most of the more than 200 sailors aboard would have been asleep in their berths at the time of the pre-dawn crash:", if was an enemy of Japan and the US, best way is too always look for vulnerabilities, and thank you for posting such information that can be used against you...seems the weakness is everyone on board is just about asleep at pre dawn hours...predawn in Japan meaning 3-4 am......the crash happened at 2-3 am.

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It’s quite simple actually, but for those people suffering from gloating induced ignorance, I’ll state the bleed’n obvious: the Aegis system has nothing to do with navigational radar systems.

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Aegis radar and navigational radar are separate systems with different purposes

Is what he is saying.

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So if a 30,000 ton Russian battleship were moving directly toward the AEGIS at 20 knots, the billion dollar system would fail to notice?

From what I have read, this US Navy ship was returning to base after routine exercises/patrols and not exactly at battle stations so to speak. The scenario you describe would be impossible, unless Japan was at war with Russia, in which case the 30,000 ton Russian battleship would have been blown out of the water. But just going along with your story, the navigational radar would have picked up any vessels from far way and the Aegis system would (hopefully) detect and destroy incoming missiles.

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Just read on CNN, the 7 missing sailors have been found dead in the flooded berthing areas. God bless these sailors, they died in the service of their nation.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/17/us/missing-sailors-found/index.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's been announced they've found the bodies of at least some of the missing inside the Fitzgerald.

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zichi, I have heard the same news as Yuri above you, but different source. Another sad day.

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zichiToday11:51 am JSTA

The accident was the fault of the USS Fitzgerald which was struck on the starboard or right side while the container ship was damaged on the port or left side of its bow. The container ship is about five times bigger than the USS Fitzgerald and therefore gives way and also the ship on the port or left side gives way to a ship on the starboard or right side.

A very reasonable and highly possible scenario based on what we all know from the damage. But that doesn't tell us what happened and why on the bridge of both vessels at the time. I'll wait to hear the USN and JCG report.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Burning Bush:

The only logical way to explain this is Russian hacking,

LOL, with all the ridiculous "Russia ate my homework" baiting going on in the legacy media and the political establishment, I am actually waiting for that. Lets see how long it takes for some CNN clown to claim that.

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@OssanAmerica

A few years ago I recall a JDMSF DDG I think it was JS Kirishima that cut a fishing boat in half

That was Atago in Feb.2008.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"the Aegis system has nothing to do with navigational radar systems."

Thank you forzaducati.  It's about time someone pointed that out.  The Aegis system is  a defense system against missiles and its radar is used for that purpose.

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