An investigation into a collision between a USS destroyer and a Japanese container ship which killed seven sailors has got off to a shambolic start - because neither side can agree what time it happened. The Japanese coastguard is investigating the USS Fitzgerald and the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal for professional negligence and endangerment. Both vessels collided in an early morning crash just outside Tokyo Bay on Saturday. As US forces are exempt from Japanese judicial process owing to an agreement between the two countries, the coastguard has so far only questioned the Crystal´s exclusively Philippine crew and captain, said the authorities. The US
Enemy action...like sending a loaded semi-truck to run down a motorcycle in the open desert. The Fitz was hardly dead in the water when the collision occurred. Someone surely could have chosen a better attack platform at sea than a fully-laden container ship.
Running at night, in congested coastal waters on autopilot? If this is true, this is unbelievably unsafe and negligent. So we already have autonomous drone ships, it looks like. Won´t drone semitrucks be fun to dodge on the highways?
How about an alternate possibility? A jihadi on the bridge while the crew is asleep, shuts off the autopilot and goes on a ramming mission, then re-engages the autopilot and leaves - back to crew quarters or over the side, depending on where he came from - a stowaway or crew member.
#10, a brief online look shows complex layers of ownership, leasing and chartering, and laternalt state registry and crewing to the point that a simple, logical question like "Who owns it?" has almost no bearing on the real question "Who controlled it on that night?"
sorry, "alternate state registry". Extremely common to ´flag´ a ship where taxes, work rules and safety rules are lax and keep the costs down to ship owners. Flag (registry) or crew nationality, often extremely heterogeneous, to the point where some crews have serious trouble communicating due to lack of a common language, usually has nothing at all to do with ownership, or control.
Reply 14 - Posted by:
mc squared, 6/19/2017 11:31:28 AM (No. 11291129)
Expert in the article says: ´he is unsure how an advanced US Navy warship equipped with AEGIS radar system - one of the most advanced in the world - managed to hit a 30,000 ton cargo ship in clear visibility.
How they collided is a big mystery but the Fitzgerald didn´t hit the container ship. Pictures show that.
Not so sure about that #14. One of the several comments I´ve made about this incident is that the Fitzgerald seemed to have been hit from about a 30º angle relative to the Fitzgerald. The pictures of the cargo ship seem to indicate the collision occurred at an angle of about 230º relative to the Crystal. Putting these two conjectures together seem to indicate this was an overtaking situation but could also indicate an intentional ramming action. The actual course, course changes, speeds of both vessels, and their relative speeds to each other is yet another set of conjectures.
Tragic but also interesting. Collisions at sea are rarely clean cut. One step leads to the next in just about every event.
My very last post. Sinbanali charters the ACX Crystal from its owners, Dainichi-Invest,
Should have pasted this in much earlier. #10’s comment may have been precipitated by this:
ACX Crystal has been owned by Olympic Steamship Co SA, Panama (a subsidiary of Japanese shipowner Sunford Shipping Ltd) and managed by Sea Quest Ship Management Inc of Bacoor, Philippines since 2008. The ship has been bareboat-chartered to Sinbanali Shipping Inc of Manila since 2014, but is reported by NYK Line on June 17 as being actually owned by Dainichi-Invest Corporation, a Japanese ship investment firm. ACX Crystal is a mid-size container ship employed by ACX (´Asia Container Express´), the intra-Asia container shipping trade subsidiary of NYK Line, the global shipping and freight logistics division of the Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi.
Yes, messy. I’m sure the lawyers will be able to find the owner…
Sad to see that some here are already getting the rope ready to hang the Captain of the USS Fitzgerald. But here´s a thought: how about we let the investigation conclude and when the facts are known, apply the consequences at that time? Too many self-appointed, zero-experience experts here.
Having crossed the shipping lanes off the east coast of Florida at night in a sailboat many times, I have some idea how complex this can be, but we never had radar - a huge advantage. But then, none of them were trying to hit us, either.
Binoculars, bearing compass and head on a swivel ´as if your life depended on it´, because it does.
OK, red light off our starboard quarter is his port, forward quarter, current bearing is 150 degrees magnetic. No range info, a dot of light looks exactly the same at 12 miles and 1/2 mile.
Second relative bearing shows .... 150 deg, we are making a 30 degree starboard course correction, NOW, trying to pass behind. Another relative bearing shot in 30 seconds, it BETTER be different!
Radar should make it a whole lot easier, but it is a fraught situation and with many ships, it gets really complex.
And no bearing on the point of the actual question..."Who could have control of the ship´s conn at that time, that night?"
Owners didn´t care, charter or lease MAY care, but the skipper may be taking non-logged passengers and pocketing the money (just an entirely made up example, no basis, but no reason why not, either) and said mythical folks could know enough to find their way to the bridge while everyone is asleep and comandeer it as a weapon.
Or it may have just been idiots on the Crystal and errors on the Fitzgerald. Too soon to tell. But jihadis on the bridge are not an impossible thing at this point, either.
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