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Fitzgerald report

Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
Navy has released a report on the McCain and Fitzgerald collisions.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/CHINFO/USS+Fitzgerald+and+USS+John+S+McCain+Collision+Reports.pdf

http://www.vesselofinterest.com/2017/06/the-leaked-statement-from-acx-crystals.html

Interesting to note that the track they publish for the Crystal is actually way different than what the internet /AIS calls out. The internet shows the ship making one turn prior to the collision from a heading of 88 to a heading of 70 consistent with the damm thing driving straight down the middle of its lane in the traffic separation scheme.
The Navy version shows the Crystal all over the place. It seems the Navy is using the track they developed off their radar data.

Report confesses that Fitz wasn't listening to AIS, They saw it 11 miles out but still managed to hit it.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
That was a tough, but interesting & informative read. I was surprised by much of what was written there. I really expected that there would have been better training & coordination of Navy personnel who drive destroyers. I am encouraged by the apparent willingness & desire to foster improvements. The Navy report appears to be a well researched & well written document.

Thanks for posting.
 
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Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
I am curious about the tracks Navy version has the Crystal all over the place, outside the separation scheme traveling in kind of a shallow "U". Internet AIS version has the Crystal running down the middle of the road in a straight line. Not to be too hard on them, but it seems like even now the Navy has no idea where that ship was.

As to the McCain is looks like you have multiple throttles and multiple steering wheels and nobody knew effectively which one was active at the time of the collision. Basically nobody was steering the ship, there was asymmetric thrust and McCain cut right in front of the tanker and got hit. Sounds like bad design, it ought to be super obvious which the active wheel is I would think.

Do you think the USN could just outsource to Royal Navy? Those guys know the rules and how to drive, they might like sailing on a Navy ship with weapons as well.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I am curious about the tracks Navy version has the Crystal all over the place, outside the separation scheme traveling in kind of a shallow "U". Internet AIS version has the Crystal running down the middle of the road in a straight line. Not to be too hard on them, but it seems like even now the Navy has no idea where that ship was.
It appears from what I have read that the "U" shaped course the Crystal took occurred after the collision.
0130:34 CRYSTAL’s bow struck FITZGERALD at approximately frame 160 on the right (starboard) side above the waterline and CRYSTAL’s bulbous bow struck at approximately frame 138 below the waterline
And this, from the NY Times, captioned "Ship position around 1:30 a.m.," showing the Crystal striking something at 1:30, then executing the "U" turn.
 
May 17, 2004
3,476
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
There are a few different turns going on here I think. The first is the slight NE turn by CRYSTAL about 10 minutes before the collision. The Navy report certainly does seem to exaggerate that turn, taking CRYSTAL from SE to NE, whereas AIS seems to have it as E to ENE. Upon the collision it seems there's agreement that CRYSTAL turned hard to starboard, then continued NE until circling back.

In any case, the narrative doesn't really mention the earlier turn by CRYSTAL, so I didn't get the impression the report was trying to say that CRYSTAL was going in strange directions causing confusion. The report seemed to place blame for the collision course squarely on FITZGERALD, only saying that CRYSTAL didn't make any action to avoid imminent collision.
 

Johann

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Jun 3, 2004
251
Leopard 39 Pensacola
Do you think the USN could just outsource to Royal Navy? Those guys know the rules and how to drive, they might like sailing on a Navy ship with weapons as well.
Well I’m sure if the Royal Navy was conducting worldwide around the clock operations at the tempo of the USN, they would have similar accidents as well.
 

capta

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Jun 4, 2009
4,308
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
Well I’m sure if the Royal Navy was conducting worldwide around the clock operations at the tempo of the USN, they would have similar accidents as well.
I sincerely doubt that. After some 50 years of interaction with US and British military vessels, both from encounters on the water and visits aboard the vessels in port as a guest, I think there is a very big difference between the professionalism of the two services. I believe this is mostly because the British naval personnel are treated as adults by their service and the Americans are treated as children by theirs.
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
The AIS track is consistent with the Crystal running in the VSS which also takes a turn. The track the Navy shows for the Crystal looks like utter nonsense, shows it in the wrong lane for instance. It seems even today they have no idea where that ship was. Didn't see any info on what generated that picture
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
The AIS track is consistent with the Crystal running in the VSS which also takes a turn. The track the Navy shows for the Crystal looks like utter nonsense, shows it in the wrong lane for instance. It seems even today they have no idea where that ship was. Didn't see any info on what generated that picture
We must be reading different reports. What page in the Navy report shows the track the Navy shows for the Crystal?
What's "VSS?"
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
Clearly the right of way rules favor the Crystal and the Fitz was responsible to take action to avoid the collision. If I was a commercial ship Captain/OOD I'd expect a US Navy ship to "do the correct thing" in all situations. So the Crystal should have held course, which seems to be what they did. When the highly maneuverable (compared to commercial ships) Navy ship failed to take correct action it is too late for the commercial ship to "turn on a dime" and avoid the collision. The AIS track looks like they turned to stay in contact with the Fitz after the collision.
Really poor bridge crew performance on the part of the US Navy.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
The Crystal isn't without blame, either, as all parties are responsible to avoid a collision, regardless of which is the stand-on vessel. Clearly the Fitz' fault, but Crystal not blameless: failed to communicate via radio, failed to sound a warning signal, failed to maneuver to avoid the collision, etc.
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
figures 2 3 and 5 show the Crystal in the wrong side of the VSS (vessel separation scheme) and shows the lanes traveling kinda SE then swinging to NE in a shallow U

The other line has AIS track info showing the crystal driving a 88 deg and then doing one turn to 70 deg then of course the collision and lots of zigging and zagging.

I find the AIS track more believable than the Navy track
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Oh, O.K., "VSS" is VTSS, or TSS, got it.
Crystal may have entered the TSS from the wrong side (I don't know if this is "wrong" to do), but appears to be in the correct positioning exiting it, and clear of it at the time of the collision. I don't think the collision occurred within the VTSS, do you?
The zigging and zagging after the collision was - because it was involved in a collision, no?
The portion of the track before the collision looks remarkably similar, except I can't account for the dip into the VTSS the Navy report shows, but it could be that it was small enough to not be resolved by the AIS system, but was resolved on Navy radar; it's tough to compare because of difficulty with scale of the two. Maybe I'll spend some time trying to scale and overlay them.
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
The other link "vessel of interest" shows an AIS ping every 3 min. The Navy report shows 0105, 0115 and 0129 so roughly every 10 to 15 min. The AIS data shows also heading and speed prior to collision was never any southwards aspect, 88 degrees (east basically) followed by a turn to 70 ENE.
I wish the VOI page showed the separation scheme I suppose those coordinates are "bingable"
 
Jan 4, 2010
983
Farr 30 San Francisco
I think compliance with VTSS is optional at least I hope it is for small sailboats at least