Sunday, June 25, 2017


Maritime Mystery: Why a U.S. Destroyer Failed to Dodge a Cargo Ship. By SCOTT SHANE
Excerpt: There should have been lookouts on watch on the port, starboard and stern of the destroyer Fitzgerald — sailors scanning the horizon with binoculars and reporting by headsets to the destroyer’s bridge. At 1:30 a.m. last Saturday, off the coast of Japan south of Tokyo, they could hardly have failed to see the 730-foot freighter ACX Crystal, stacked with more than 1,000 containers, as it closed in. Radar officers working both on the bridge and in the combat information center below it should have spotted the freighter’s image on their screens, drawing steadily closer. And under standard protocol, the Fitzgerald’s captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, should have been awakened and summoned to the bridge to assure a safe passage long before the ships could come near each other. But none of that happened. The Fitzgerald’s routine cruise in good weather through familiar, if crowded, seas ended in the most lethal Navy accident in years. Seven sailors lost their lives. (We can only wait to see what comes out of this.  Best bet is that the cargo ship was on autopilot, with no lights on, a huge violation of the rules.  But all the questions of how in hell nobody on the destroyer could see it coming remain unanswered.  Best bet is.... someone, or in fact a bunch of someones, really screwed the pooch bigtime.  One would guess a bunch of careers will come to a crashing halt in the end. --Del)

No comments:

Post a Comment