back to article US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

The accident-prone US Navy has suspended all of its warship operations around the world following its third collision at sea this year. The latest incident took place between general-purpose destroyer USS John S McCain and a Liberian-flagged oil tanker, the Alnic MC, off the coast of Singapore, where the American warship was …

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  2. Matthew Smith

    Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

    They are going about it the right way.

    1. Scroticus Canis
      Happy

      Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

      Um, think it's the US Navy getting in the way of others. The last two collisions the US boats were hit in the side. Of course they may have learnt how to do handbrake turns with a destroyer to scam Lloyd's List.

      Seems that the Mark One Eyeball and a pair of binoculars are no longer a part of the "watch" requirement.

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

        "Um, think it's the US Navy getting in the way of others. The last two collisions the US boats were hit in the side."

        All three of the collisions (Lake Champlain, Fitzgerald, John S McCain) were because something hit the US ship. Lake Champlain was hit by a South Korean fishing boat; the bridge crew on Lake Champlain saw the fishing boat coming and screamed at it on radio, but it didn't have a radio, and no-one on the boat noticed a 10,000 ton guided missile cruiser right in front of them. (insert joke about Asians and glasses here.) Fitzgerald was turning away, too late, from the containership when the collision occurred. No-one on the bridge thought to wake the captain, or perhaps the containership wasn't seen in time. In any case, the captain was asleep in his cabin and found out when part of said cabin landed on him, injuring him. The captain, the executive officer, and the senior petty officer ('boatswain', in the RN) are all on the beach now. I suspect that others will follow. John S McCain was hit aft, and seems to have almost made it out of the way. There also seems to have been a problem with the steering mechanisms, which are part of the systems controlled by... Windows for Warships. No, I don't know if there was a bluescreen, but if there was...

        The last incident was when Antietam, a sister ship to Lake Champlain, ran aground in Tokyo harbor, in an incident remarkably similar to HMS Indomitable running aground while coming into Kingston, Jamaica, harbor in November 1941.

        1. Phil W

          Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

          While it is true that other ships hit the USN ships on some of these occasions they were hit in the starboard side. It is standard maritime practice to give way to vessels approaching from your starboard side, rather than remaining ignorant of them until they hit you.

          1. My Alter Ego

            Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

            SOLAS might say that if you're "on the right, you're in the right" (McCain was hit on the port side, so was in the right), it's not relevant if one vessel is constrained by draft or manoeuvrability. Also, avoiding collisions is the most important rule.

            If the destroyer had steering issues then it suggests a very unfortunately timed accident (for it happen ahead of a large vessel).

            It was suggested that Fitzgerald was under EMCON when she was hit, so it's possible McCain was in a similar situation. I also wonder if the US navy isn't keen on informing general traffic that they're having technical issues - it's a bit embarrassing to admit that to the Chinese, North Koreans, etc.

            1. My Alter Ego

              Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

              s/SOLAS/COLREGS/

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

            no they weren't the latest incident the USS John S McCain was hit on her port side so rule 15 of the rules of the road applies

            15. Crossing situations

            When two power-driven vessels are crossing, the vessel which has the other on the starboard side must give way and avoid crossing ahead of her.[11][page needed] The saying is "If to starboard red appear, 'tis your duty to keep clear".[18] "...Act as judgement says is proper: port or starboard, back or stop her."

            Now in maritime law blame gets apportioned and its very rare for 100% blame to be given to just one party, but on the face of it the Tanker was more at fault.

            *Past life before getting in to IT I worked in the shipping industry and did Maritime law at Uni

        2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

          Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

          With the Fitzgerald, the container ship was deliberately trying to ram them. Check the traces of the two ships movements - they passed, the container ship did a big loop and adjusted course several times before striking the USN ship... I can't see how that could be anything other than deliberate and as such, it's unlikely anything short of a missile would've prevented the collision.

          1. Dick Kennedy

            Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

            With the FItzgerald, the radar track actually shows the freighter doing all its course changes *after* the collision. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/18/world/asia/path-ship-hit-uss-fitzgerald.html?mcubz=1

          2. Lars Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

            "the container ship was deliberately trying to ram them. Check the traces of the two ships movements". There was this confusion at first as Fitzgerald, for some odd reason, reported the wrong time for the collision, a later time. What the container ship did was to turn around after the collision to offer assistance, as they should. This has all been cleared up.

        3. James O'Shea

          Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

          Further news: say bye-bye to the commander of US 7th Fleet as a direct result of theses incidents. http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/22/politics/uss-mccain-7th-fleet-commander-dismissal/index.html

          And it does seem that something was seriously broken with McCain's steering. Not in the article, but notable, is that there was recently a huge scandal about shipyard kickbacks and bribes in that region https://www.stripes.com/news/us/another-navy-officer-pleads-guilty-to-taking-bribes-from-fat-leonard-1.483576 and there were concerns about how far up the problems went, and about the effect on operations. If McCain was one of the ships involved, and the reason for the steering problem was that inadequate or improper repairs or maintenance was carried out, then there's going to be a lot of senior officers getting a lot of serious prison time.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

        "they may have learnt how to do handbrake turns with a destroyer to scam Lloyd's List."

        back full port, ahead full starboard. similar idea to a handbrake turn.

        If the ship has multiple screws, even if the rudder is immobilized due to a mechanical problem, you can still attempt to steer it with the engines [though the effect isn't quite as good].

        Methinks they need to run more drills on operation casualties *like* loss of steeering, work out the bugs, and get some kinds of procedures in place to avoid situations like that one.

        Normally a collision is due to a mistake on the part of the officer of the deck. But with "that much information" in play in a busy channel, maybe it's just not humanly possible for one person to keep track of it all...

        (holy @#$% it's a big fat tanker, how the hell did we NOT see that coming?)

    2. Daniel von Asmuth
      Mushroom

      Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

      I hope there will be fewer casualties when Kim J and Donald J declare war on each other.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

    http://www.navy.mil/navydata/nav_legacy.asp?id=174

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

      How the fudge do you drive a lighthouse into a ship?

      1. SkippyBing

        Re: Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

        You don't it's an urban myth.

        1. Commswonk

          Re: Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

          How can it be an "urban" myth when it concerns events on the high seas?

          Anyway in this case is wasn't a myth; it was a direct hit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

            Haven't you ever heard of "The City in the Sea"?

        2. JJKing
          Coat

          Re: Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

          You don't it's an urban myth.

          But it's on the Internet, it must be true.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

      Tere's the story about the South African yachtsman, Bruce Dalling, sailing single-handed a little wooden 25' Vertue from Hong Kong to South Africa. He was asleep and woke to the noise of engines, to find himself surrounded by ships and being buzzed by helicopters. He switched on the radio to found his boat had sailed right into a US Indian Ocean fleet (or vice versa). He was told somewhat arrogantly "Identify yourself" on the radio, and famously replied "Vertue Carina, single handed skipper onboard, bound for Durban. Will not attack unless severely provoked."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good job it wasn't a lighthouse

        Other apocryphal naval story:

        UK and US navy doing joint manoeuvres somewhere, after the exercise finished, the ships sailed away in opposing directions. The semaphore office on the USA ship messaged "Thanks for that guys, oh, by the way, how does it feel to be the second biggest naval contingent in the world"?

        The British replied "Yes, thank you for the training exercises and it feels fine, but tell us, how does it feel to be second best"?

        Badum Tish.

  4. SkippyBing

    Worth a read

    If you want an idea of how easy it is to end up in a near collision situation with another ship:

    http://taskandpurpose.com/fitzgeralds-watch-team-mine/amp/

    I've been in a similar situation where after first spotting a small cabin cruiser at around 5NM we ended up stopped in the water with someone leaning over the bow asking if they'd decided which way they were going yet.

    1. samzeman

      Re: Worth a read

      I didn't know the sea was so, well, not exactly lawless, but wild. Surely there's some kind of penalty for the merchant ship for not responding / not turning right? Road laws work, and the average person I'd assume is a lot less experienced / qualified than a sea captain.

      1. SkippyBing

        Re: Worth a read

        To be honest, if there isn't an actual collision there's not a lot of comeback. Theoretically the country the vessel is flagged to could take action, or the country who's waters they were in if they were within 12nm of land, but I've never heard of anything happening.

        Obviously if there is a collision it's a whole different story.

    2. sitta_europea Silver badge

      Re: Worth a read

      "I've been in a similar situation..."

      Yeah, so have I. Just off Harwich, in the shipping lanes. A container vessel would have rammed my 24 foot yacht and turned it into matchwood if we hadn't gybed. We were the stand-on vessel. Either the officer on watch was in the head or he was asleep on the deck because at two in the morning my 1000 lumen spotlight lit up their unmanned bridge like daylight.

      IRPCS Rule 5:

      "Every vessel shall at all times..."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I've been in a similar situation..."

        Me too, it was back in 2006 Lanzarote, I took the lilo out on the high seas and had a near miss with a pedalo.

      2. AdamtheKiwi

        Re: Worth a read

        Is that not covered by the most important navigational rule of all for yachts:

        "Plastic (or wood) gives way to steel"...?

        1. rh587 Silver badge

          Re: Worth a read

          Is that not covered by the most important navigational rule of all for yachts:

          "Plastic (or wood) gives way to steel"...?

          Something along those lines.

          Or in other words "Leisure gives way to Business".

          The old "power gives way to sail" in Southampton Water will simply land you in hot water when you get back to land (assuming you haven't been run over in the cold water). Interfere in commercial port operations at your peril.

          I've likewise been on the back of a Research Boat - we were on station near shore, instruments in the water, displaying the correct flags when a regatta came ploughing around us. A couple of the dinghies apparently did not see us, or assumed that the powered vessel would move for them, not understanding that a working vessel on station with £120k worth of instrumentation hanging off the back does not care about such things. There were some angry shouts when they bumped into us, but the skipper's tannoy was louder as he delivered a lecture on flag signals.

      3. Triggerfish

        Re: Worth a read

        Also worth a read

        https://www.amazon.com/Avoid-Huge-Ships-John-Trimmer/dp/0870334336

      4. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Worth a read

        You're in the shipping lanes at night in a 24 footer near a busy port, and expect that you are somehow the stand-on vessel to a container ship - and you continued to believe this to the point where you had to gybe out of the way? The laws of physics trump COLREGs. Just stay out of the damn way, you'll live longer.

      5. Adair Silver badge

        Re: Worth a read

        If you were in a yacht in a' shipping lane' off Harwich it was your duty to keep clear. Law regarding large vessels navigating in restricted waters (includes designated 'shipping lanes'): the vessel with 'unrestricted' manoeuvrability keeps clear, regardless of port/starboard rules, etc.

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Worth a read

          Yes, it's worth remembering that when sailing ships where given this "right of way" those ships were often big square rigged ships and tacking them was something totally different than turning the wheel on a ship with a motor. I bet those guys did not think of pleasure yachts under sail at all, then long ago.

          My advice and experience under sail is to keep away, if possible, not only to stay safe but also in order not to behave like a dick.

          The good, if perhaps unwritten law, is that pleasure ships give way to commercial ships (and the navy).

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "'ve been in a similar situation where after first spotting a small cabin cruiser at around 5NM "

      A fair point but I don't think either of these craft could be described as "cabin cruiser" sized.

      And I don't think any of the other ships th USN has bumped into in the last 8 months were either

    4. My Alter Ego

      Re: Worth a read

      I've been in a situation crossing the Southampton MTZ. I was clearing well ahead +1NM) when the guard vessel drastically changed course towards me. I was over half way across to Calshot when he got to me and all the pilot did was shout "do you know where you are". My replies were "yes, where do you want me to go?", which he completely ignored. After a minute of being shouted at I did an about turn and he motored off.

      He had no interest in giving me instructions, just shouting an incredibly unhelpful question at me. It was left to me to read his mind. All he had to do was shout "reverse your course".

      * The Moving Traffic Zone is an area of the Solent where you have to stay clear (1km ahead, 100m abeam) of large vessels. A guard vessel often motors ahead to ensure it's not encroached.

  5. theModge

    What do they all do?

    There's billions of sailors* on one of those tubs. The tanker will have had 12 men and a dog. How come tankers don't keep driving into things?

    I realise someone must press the big red "Fire" button, but that doesn't seem to taxing. I assume the other 275 spend their time polishing missiles.

    *276 I asked wikipedia

    1. SkippyBing

      Re: What do they all do?

      Technically, as the tanker hit the side of the McCain, it was the tanker that was doing the driving into. It's worth reading the link I posted above, essentially it boils down to one of the parties involved not doing what's expected in accordance with the rules of the road*. You then have to decide how to avoid the impending collision and rely on the other party not changing their mind. Several times. Possibly because there was no one awake on the bridge when you first gained sight of them. And it all happens in painful slow motion.

      For fairness here's an RN example with a link through to the board of inquiry report:

      http://www.3peaks.org.uk/Nautical/HMS%20Southampton/HMSSouthamptonpage.htm

      * International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs), the RN makes ship drivers memorise them word for word, the USN less so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do they all do?

        one of the parties involved not doing what's expected in accordance with the rules of the road

        The USN don't obey any rules but their own.

        They expect every other ship including the Russians, Chinese and Norks to get out of their way sharpish.

        Apparently they copied this behaviour from the RN...

        1. SkippyBing

          Re: What do they all do?

          'Apparently they copied this behaviour from the RN...'

          What the RN which religiously examines it's officer's of the watch on the rules of the road? Which have to be learnt verbatim? Yeah you're talking bollocks.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do they all do?

        > And it all happens in painful slow motion.

        Indeed. I have experience both at sea and in the air. With one you get into trouble at 20 knots, with the other at 400 knots, but at least in the air it's all over in a few seconds. At sea, I saw a collision coming a full 30 minutes before contact. With about 10 minutes to go we knew there was bugger all we could do to avoid it (the two of us were restricted manoeuvrability, the other ship's bridge spoke neither English, Polish, Russian, Tagalog, Spanish, Norwegian, or French so coordination was a bit challenging).

        Same with going through rough weather (turbulence, big swell). A few minutes of shaking versus days of tumbling...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What do they all do?

      Well it is hard and full of Seamen

    3. Kristian Walsh

      Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

      From the grossly-simplified understanding I have of the laws of maritime navigation say that where there's a danger of collision, isn't it always the vessel that can get out of the way fastest that must change course to avoid the collision?

      In that case, wouldn't it be the destroyer that had to move? Tankers aren't known for turning quickly.

      1. SkippyBing

        Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

        'isn't it always the vessel that can get out of the way fastest that must change course to avoid the collision?'

        You may be thinking of -steam gives way to sail, sail gives way to rowing boats. But that doesn't help when you've got two powered vessels. Gross gross over-simplification of the rules:

        In a crossing situation the vessel with the other on her right is the give way vessel (handily this means the vessel with the right of way sees the other vessels green navigation light)

        In an overtaking situation the overtaking vessel is the give way vessel until well past and clear (ie you can't try and turn it into a crossing situation after you get just in front)

        When approaching head on alter course to starboard (Our nav instructor said if you ever find yourself thinking of altering course to port to avoid collision, go out on the bridge wing and have a stiff word with yourself)

        Notwithstanding all that, and a plethora of other regulations where some vessels do have priority, e.g. carriers operating aircraft, vessels constrained by their draft, there's a general get out saying

        'In construing and complying with these rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these rules necessary to avoid immediate danger'

        So basically you're dammed if you do and dammed if you don't...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

          So basically you're dammed if you do and dammed if you don't...

          Indeed. But unless there was (as suggested) a mechanical failure, then the rules mean the crew certainly should be damned. Being hit by one of the sea's biggest, slowest vessels, when you're riding one of the world's fastest, most maneuverable, most electronically advanced vessels?

          I am 100% certain SkippyBing doesn't need to look, but for the rest of us there's some nice vids on Youtube of an Arleigh Burke vessel doing a high speed turn, and its worth watching to see how quickly these things can go and how fast they can turn (noting as well that the vessel is probably not at full emergency power). Bruce Ordway's comment may have hit the nail on the head, because the USN 7th Fleet appears to be having some severe problems. Also worth noting that the "suspension of operations" couldn't come at a worse time, when the US and Norks are having a face-off.

          1. fajensen Silver badge

            Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

            Also worth noting that the "suspension of operations" couldn't come at a worse time, when the US and Norks are having a face-off.

            Or ... maybe the perfect time. Give the excess testosterone some time to clear?

          2. SkippyBing

            Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

            'Nice vids on Youtube of an Arleigh Burke vessel doing a high speed turn, and its worth watching to see how quickly these things can go and how fast they can turn'

            I'm not 100% in the drive system on an Arleigh Burke, it appears to be two gas turbines per shaft, this is similar to the T22 I did some of my training on. Although they were fast all that speed wasn't available straight away, up to around 14-16kts could be achieved with one gas turbine per shaft* but to get up to 30kts+ you'd have to bring the other engines online. This can take a few minutes, and generally because of the higher fuel consumption you wouldn't have them on as a matter of routine. So although they are fast, in a normal cruising state it could take a couple of minutes before you could even start accelerating, although at that point it is quite impressive.

            Having said that, generally when you're approaching a more challenging shipping situation, e.g. entering harbour, confined waters, a shipping lane, you'd have every everything up and running** to give the minimum response time if you needed a sudden burst of speed etc. I don't know what the USN routines would be exactly in those situations so it's hard to say how they compare, and I'm not sure how close the McCain was to the actual shipping lane when the collision happened***.

            *You could also do a similar speed with two on one shaft, basically most combinations worked, some would have a minimum speed you literally couldn't go below.

            **There are also dual hydraulic pumps for steering motors, multiple generators, etc. that normally alternate in use. Everyday is back up test day in the navy.

            ***I went through the Dover Straights on a T42 which is one of the busier traffic separation schemes, the Captain decided the simplest thing would be to go through at max speed so we were always the overtaking vessel.

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

          Given sailboats are subject to wind, it might make them faster but a damn sight less... maneuverable. Hence it's cruisers (motorised craft) giving way to rowing boats, and rowing boats giving way to sailboats. :-)

          1. SkippyBing

            Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

            ' Hence it's cruisers (motorised craft) giving way to rowing boats, and rowing boats giving way to sailboats'

            That may be right, I can't actually find a reference to rowing boats in the Rules of the Road apart from concerning lighting but I don't trust the wikipedia entry 100% and I can't find another version on-line at the moment that gets through the work firewall. I mean why you'd try either method of transport eludes me, they just seem to be uncomfortable ways of going slowly.

            1. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

              Link: https://maritime.college/Boating-Rules.php - A rowing boat is considered a powered vessel, but given it has restricted maneuverability compared to a motorboat, it has precedence. A 30 second Google search found this. I'll ignore the downvote...

              1. SkippyBing

                Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

                'A rowing boat is considered a powered vessel, but given it has restricted manoeuvrability compared to a motorboat, it has precedence'

                I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, it's just I can't find an authoritative reference that a rowing boat is considered a powered vessel. The link is to a simplified summary of the Rules of the Road so isn't authoritative as such as it's someone's interpretation of the rules. I may be being overly pedantic but having lost a mark on an exam for using 'would' instead of 'should' you get that way...

                It may just be that anything that's not a sailing vessel, which is specifically mentioned, is considered powered, it just seems odd they don't make it explicit.

                1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

                  Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

                  There are only 2 types of (steerable) vessels : power and sail. That is very explicit everywhere, and puts rowing in the power category very explicitly.

                  1. SkippyBing

                    Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

                    'There are only 2 types of (steerable) vessels : power and sail. That is very explicit everywhere, and puts rowing in the power category very explicitly.'

                    Well no, that's implicit, it's not written anywhere in the regulations as such. The regulations explicitly say:

                    3.

                    For the purpose of these Rules, except where the context otherwise requires:

                    (a) The word “vessel” includes every description of water craft, including non-displacement craft, wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) vehicle, and seaplanes, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

                    (b) The term "power-driven vessel" means any vessel propelled by machinery.

                    (c) The term "sailing vessel" means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used.

                    I don't think a rowing boat fits under the definition in 3b. Unless you've got a robot at the oars.

                    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

                      Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

                      OK, This is mostly nonsense as in the high sea you'd do almost anything to avoid collision regardless of rules, especially if you were on a rowing boat, but let me elaborate.

                      Colreg 72 is specifically aimed at high-sea vessels, I think we can agree on that, it's explicitely stated.

                      For the purpose of ColReg, with as little interpretation as possible, a vessel is either "sail" or "power". No interpretation can possibly put "oar" in the "sail" category. As I, erm , "sea" it, the distinction is meant to be "vessels in full control of their thrust" vs "sail". In that case, mechanichal devices like oars, caterpilars or propellers are all alike, in that they are mechanical contraptions aimed at pushing the water backward in order to make the vessel go forward. The energy source is not stated in ColReg, so I would think that any vessel powered by mechanichal devices pushing the water backwards would qualify as "power", regardless of the energy source. ColReg does state "machinery". I'll let oaring enthusiasts fight over that precise word.

                      For the rest of the world, most rowing boats would fall in the "not under command" category, and these have automatic right of way, like it or not. (you may yell insults at them through the loudspeaker though)

                      1. SkippyBing

                        Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

                        'Colreg 72 is specifically aimed at high-sea vessels, I think we can agree on that, it's explicitely stated.'

                        Rule 1:

                        (a) These rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels.

                        So they apply all over the place, e.g. the Thames in the middle of London, unless the local authority has made special rules, which should conform as closely as possible with the Rules of the Road.

                        Meanwhile, Rule 3

                        (b) The term "power-driven vessel" means any vessel propelled by machinery.

                        I don't think you can argue oars are machinery, in fact my copy of 'The Seaman's Guide to the Rule of the Road'* which the Navy optimistically issued in the hope I'd learn from it, states on p6&7 that an outboard motor dinghy being rowed along, because its motor has broken down, is not a power-driven vessel because it is not being propelled by machinery. To add confusion the rules on lighting have a section that applies to 'Lights for sailing and rowing vessels'. But at no point do the rules state, or the lessons amplify, what priority a rowing boat has.

                        You might be able to claim not under command, the definition is:

                        'The term "vessel not under command" means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to manoeuvre as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.'

                        But then a pilot gig or whatever those things Oxford and Cambridge race should happily be able to manoeuvre as required.

                        *Morgans Technical Books Ltd 6th Edition, 1st Impression 1995.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

                    "There are only 2 types of (steerable) vessels : power and sail."

                    For a long time many if not all vessels of any size were both. Most yachts still are. The separation is recent.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

          "You may be thinking of -steam gives way to sail, sail gives way to rowing boats."

          This does not, of course, help on a river when someone in a canoe turns suddenly into the path of 25 tonnes of narrowboat. Because they think they have automatic right of way. Though the desire to get out a loudhailer and shout the rules at the idiot is strong, it is also impracticable.

      2. Lars Silver badge

        Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

        "isn't it always the vessel that can get out of the way fastest that must change course to avoid the collision".

        No there is no such law, but that is what you do unless you are totally mad.

        This is all very embarrassing for the Navy. Regardless of who is at fault it should be totally impossible to ram a navy ship even if they dried to. I would advice the Navy to look at things like attitude, Do those guys feel too big and important and "untouchable". Hopefully not, Then there is the question of boredom, nothing is as boring as a ship without sails at sea in the night. And the bridge even more boring, no streptease, no card games, no booze. A yachtsman to my soul but I was in the merchant navy and a short time in the navy too. And then there is the important question about how situation information is transferred from one watch to the next. I Wonder are those guys in tee shirts and unable to have a look outside because it's too cold.

        While my comment might not show it, losing ships mates at sea is a lot worse than losing friends in some car accident. Lets not be too harsh towards those sailors and rather concentrate on training for the future.

        And for those who do, or do not, understand the difference between boring and not boring ships at sea, have a look at this. One of the very best you can find on YouTube. And there is some Alan Villiers too.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icnjC_gJOLQ

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

          @lars

          No there is no such law, but that is what you do unless you are totally mad.

          As per @SkippyBing's post, there is a law that in effect states that:

          'In construing and complying with these rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these rules necessary to avoid immediate danger'

          While it doesn't explicitly say that the most maneuverable vessel must get out of the way, it does say that if it is within a vessel's power to prevent a collision it must do so. And logic would dictate that, usually, the most maneuverable, most response, agile vessel would, most of the time, be the vessel most likely to be in a position to prevent an imminent collision.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

        no not really

        16. The give-way vessel

        The give-way vessel must take early and substantial action to keep well clear.[11][page needed]

        17. The stand-on vessel

        The stand-on vessel shall maintain her course and speed, but she may take action to avoid collision if it becomes clear that the give-way vessel is not taking appropriate action, or when so close that collision can no longer be avoided by the actions of the give-way vessel alone. In a crossing situation, the stand-on vessel should avoid turning to port even if the give-way vessel is not taking appropriate action. These options for the stand-on vessel do not relieve the give-way vessel of her obligations under the rules.[11][page needed]

        18. Responsibilities between vessels

        Except in narrow channels, traffic separation schemes, and when overtaking (i.e., rules 9, 10, and 13)

        A power-driven vessel must give way to:

        a vessel not under command;

        a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre (this may include vessels towing one another);[19]

        a vessel engaged in fishing;

        a sailing vessel.

        no and you couldn't say that the Tanker was restricted in her ability to manoeuvre

    4. Mayhem

      Re: What do they all do?

      Another factor - all vessels over 300 tonnes have an Automatic Identification System (AIS) - a system explicitly designed to prevent collisions by providing tracking information to any vessel in a 10-20 mile range. This data is also passed up to satellites and can be used for longer ranges, and can be integrated into automatic pilot systems. It's also widely used by oceanic yachts and small passenger craft, and is basically the marine equivalent of the aeroplane ADS-B which all the flight tracking apps use.

      The US navy turns theirs off, because they don't want Johnny Foreigner knowing where they are.

      In a time of war ... sure, this makes sense. In peacetime?

      Turn your bloody lights back on and maybe people will stop hitting you.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: What do they all do?

        Actually, what's worse... if *you* switch your AIS off, it's *your* responsibility to make sure you track other ships and stay the hell out of their way, especially if it's something rather sizeable like a VLCC that doesn't stop on a dime (compared to your puny ass that's probably much more maneuverable).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do they all do?

        The US Navy turns their AIS off!?!

        Crikey, can you imagine the outcry if the RN did the same thing? How many people have been following Queen Liz on MarineTraffic since she slipped out of Rosyth a while back?

        1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge

          HMS Queen Elizabeth...

          ...still belongs to her builders at the moment: she's a commercial vessel. Dunno what happens when she's handed over and put into commission.

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: What do they all do?

        @Mayhem

        AIS...

        (At the time of writing, "Big Lizzie" last reported her position not long after arriving home...)

        http://www.shipais.co.uk/showship.php?mmsi=235107775

      4. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: What do they all do?

        In a time of war ... sure, this makes sense. In peacetime?

        In fairness, there are good reasons to disable in peacetime (such as in-transit to a zone of operations) if you don't want the locals to know exactly when, where or from which direction you will be arriving in theatre. Likewise if you don't want to make it too easy for Russian/Chinese subs to tail you for <reasons>.

        But when you're playing in major shipping lanes (as per the McCain)? Probably best to turn it on or accept that as the ghost in the night, you're bearing additional responsibility for avoiding collisions because you probably have better instruments than anyone else, will be more manoeuvrable (x000s of tonnes, not x00,000s) and are deliberately deactivating collision-avoidance hardware.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somebody call Tesla and Mr. Musk, and order autopilot stat!

    Seriously Navy... your orders are hang out in this (such and such) area and don't run into anything.

    WTF are you doing?

    My thoughts go out to the sailors that were injured and killed.

    But, someone needs to be demoted to piloting their rubber ducky in the bath tub.

    1. Commswonk

      Somebody call Tesla and Mr. Musk, and order autopilot stat!

      How do you now that they didn't fit one months ago? Seems entirely likely.

      The answer, of course, will be "it's helmsman assist..."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The McCain was going to port in Singapore when the collision occurred. That just happens to be one of, if not the, busiest stretch of water on the planet. That still doesn't explain much though. How the bridge crew lost situational awareness is the question. Hardware failures, other craft failing to follow rules of the road, or whatever else you can come up with isn't justification for a collision, especially when an Arleigh Burke class destroyer is one of the most maneuverable ships around.

      I served on a Spruance class destroyer with essentially the same gas turbine engines, variable pitch screws, and handling characteristics. Despite being merely an electronics technician, not only was all of the navigation gear my responsibility, I also qualified for helmsman, quartermaster and navigator of the watch. [I was to replace all three should the bridge crew buy it and other replacements unavailable. My division officer was to be the Officer of the Deck and my chief Junior Officer of the Deck.]

      This should not have happened, yet it did. You can expect the CO & XO being relieved of their command. Plenty more if the special sea & anchor detail was on deck, which is likely was since they were to making port.

  7. John Jennings Silver badge

    AIS

    The US navy do not publish their position on AIS, and (obviously) dont post an adequate lookout.

    The large commercial carriers often dont post an adequate lookout either, as just about everything in those waters has AIS, which gives them time to make adjustments. Radar is OK, as far as it goes, but can be problematic on so many fronts. NO technical means negates the requirement for Mk 1 Eyeball - from either side.

    COLREGS defines the international rules for the avoidance of collisions at sea.

    COLREGS

    Part A - General (Rules 1-3)

    Rule 1 states that the rules apply to all vessels upon the high seas and all waters connected to the high seas and navigable by seagoing vessels.

    Rule 2 covers the responsibility of the master, owner and crew to comply with the rules.

    Rule 3 includes definitions.

    Part B- Steering and Sailing (Rules 4-19)

    Section 1 - Conduct of vessels in any condition of visibility (Rules 4-10)

    Rule 4 says the section applies in any condition of visibility.

    Rule 5 requires that "every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

    Rule 6 deals with safe speed. It requires that: "Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed...". The Rule describes the factors which should be taken into account in determining safe speed. Several of these refer specifically to vessels equipped with radar.The importance of using "all available means" is further stressed in Rule 7 covering risk of collision, which warns that "assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information, especially scanty radar information"

    1. SkippyBing

      Re: AIS

      'The US navy do not publish their position on AIS'

      Which I really don't understand, if you see a RADAR contact without a matching AIS return the first thing you're going to do is investigate it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AIS

        "Which I really don't understand, if you see a RADAR contact without a matching AIS return the first thing you're going to do is investigate it."

        If you think it might even just possibly be a USN guided missile ship I would imagine that is the last thing you would do. For two possible values of last.

        1. SkippyBing

          Re: AIS

          'If you think it might even just possibly be a USN guided missile ship I would imagine that is the last thing you would do. For two possible values of last.'

          Well in peace time it just looks suspicious, and certainly other navies are going to investigate it if only to relieve the boredom. And the US ship is unlikely to open fire* unless you did something very stupid like lock them up with your fire control radar. So they're still going to have their movements tracked.

          Full disclosure, I have found a variety of foreign warships** while carrying out surface searches, none of them fired at us.

          *Seriously they're not that trigger happy outside an actual combat area.

          **Definitely US, Russian, and French. I think Dutch and German too. Oh and Turkish.

  8. Commswonk
    FAIL

    That explains it, then...

    During the "pause" US Navy investigators would be "focused on navigation, ships' mechanical systems and bridge resource management", according to Admiral Swift.

    Any navy that has concepts like "bridge resource managment" deserves to have accidents. I await the defence from the Officer of the Watch reading along the lines "I was trying to decode a load of management bollocks in Part 1 Orders* and I could thus not concentrate on where the ship was going".

    * Or whatever the USN has as an equivalent

    1. SkippyBing

      Re: That explains it, then...

      I suspect they've lifted this from 'Crew Resource Management' which is a big thing in aviation, and saw a significant reduction in the number of incidents and accidents. It's partly understanding how and why people make mistakes and also a drive to get away from the situations of old where the individual in charge would have such authority that his decisions wouldn't be questioned, which led to a number of fatal accidents. Basically it's trying to address the human error side of accidents, how well they've implemented it I don't know.

      1. Christoph

        Re: That explains it, then...

        And aviation have a hellaciously good reason to fix the 'single man in charge' problem - it was a major contributor to Tenerife.

      2. Steve 114

        Re: That explains it, then...

        Might have helped Tryon, in Victoria,1893.

  9. Bruce Ordway

    Brings back memories

    Luckily my ship was only damaged once while it was being piloted into port. Nobody was injured in that incident. In fact it was a nice break for most of us. Our stay was extended for repairs at one of the nicer foreign ports .

    I do remember having frequent, vivid dreams about collisions. Especially when we were involved in exercises. I'm a bit of a pessimist anyway and at that time I really didn't have a lot of faith in my fellow crew-members.

    I think it is very hard to train and maintain crews during peacetime in general. In my time, (I believe) the quality personnel went to the carriers and subs. Smaller ships like mine received whoever... when they were available. Ships are (usually) going to be sent out if needed, regardless of manpower issues. Imagine a bunch of bored kids after months at sea. Accidents always seemed like an inevitability to me.

  10. ArchieTheAlbatross
    Unhappy

    Convenient

    An approaching BCC under a Liberian flag, (if you're very lucky, someone on board may hold a valid watchkeeping certificate).

    Be afraid, be very afraid!

  11. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    passive sensor systems?

    "A modern warship like the McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, is packed with radar and passive sensor systems. There is no reason why her command team could, or should, have been so unaware of other ships nearby."

    Couldn't agree more. One presumes the significant number of Mark I Eyeballs onboard are included in "passive sensor systems"?!?

  12. EddieD

    Weird feeling of deja vu...

    Earlier on this week I posted on another forum about the pirates in the Asterix cartoons, once again I think of them, this time the lookout in the crows nest - even if the US navy had one, he'd probably be ignored just the same.

  13. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action.

    Better invade the tanker and liberate its oil, just to be safe.

  14. UncleNick
    Pint

    "Left hand down a bit..."

    "Ev'rybody down!"

  15. anothercynic Silver badge

    You really have to wonder...

    ... How the hell do you miss an oil tanker on your radar... Or, rather, how the hell do you manage to *not* avoid running into one?

    The US Navy has a lot to answer for. As supposedly the most technologically-advanced navy on the planet, this kind of stuff is just inexcusable!

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: You really have to wonder...

      They're not the most technologically-advanced navy on the planet. A lot of their equipment is old and outdated. But it doesn't get updated because doing so would mean updating the entire fleet. And that is too expensive.US armed forces in general a a very capable force, but a lot of stuff is old and tired. It is kept running to the best of their abilities, but true update/overhaul is never really performed in the way many other forces around the world do.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You really have to wonder...

      PLENTY of cases of where radar has played a part in collisions, starting with the Andrea Doria back in the 50s which was sort of the go to case for radar assisted collisions. Nothing like a good watch and good communications between the ships

  16. Chris G Silver badge

    Three collisions

    Are bad enough but colliding with a country? That's bad.

    My brother a long time yachtsman, told me most boats can handle the sea but land is bad for them.

    I think it may be time for US navy ships not in a tactical situation to use their ID transponders.

  17. big col

    I wonder if Sub Lt Phillips, was on secondment to the American navy.. "left hand down a bit"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wonder if Sub Lt Phillips, was on secondment to the American navy.

      Or maybe that bloke who ran Astute aground on Skye? Or the herbert who steered Ambush into a merchant ship in the Med? Or the chappy who directed Vanguard into the French Triomphant? Or the one who drove Superb into the sea bed of the Red Sea?

      Our much vaunted navy seem to feature disproportionately in the list of reported sub accidents. Obviously the non-Western operators probably keep as much quiet as possible, so we're not comparing to them, but Turkey, Israel, Japan and India all operate sub fleets larger than the RN. I can't be bothered to see if this is true of surface vessels. Any view, better informed commentards?

      1. Robinson123

        It's just a statistical thing...

        As the US navy has many more of these things than any other navy, it'll often feature in such mishaps more often.

        Anyway Amazon has a book for the crew to read:

        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Avoid-Huge-Ships-John-Trimmer/dp/0870334336

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: It's just a statistical thing...

          I would say that the reason the US Navy is involved in a lot more collisions is because they have a lot more vessels.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Don't know about the Suberb one but that must have been a good while ago as she's been gone for ages. Vanguard and the Triumphant ...were they not dived so they will have not been active i.e. passive only sonar thus its not really a comparison to skimmers. Astute....yup I bet the bod on the plot was embarrassed (I would have been!!) and as for Ambush...well what ever she was doing it all went wrong.

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Two in a box

          The British patrol SSBN has a dedicated hunter-killer "minder" sub to keep the Bad Guys from doing something nasty to them while they're out in blue water. The French SSBN patrol boat gets the same sort of escort. It has been suggested that for reasons of inflation both navies have fewer but larger escort subs in their toy boxes these days so the two countries have come to an agreement whereby the two patrol SSBNs get a single minder sub, time-shared between the two navies. For that reason both SSBNs patrol in the same "box" in the Atlantic off the Bay of Biscay. For other reasons they are very quiet boats and don't advertise their positions hence the coming together of hulls in the Vanguard/Triomphante collision.

  18. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The shape of things to come

    When we get self-driving cars mixing with pedestrians, cyclists, horses, tractors and even Traction Engines.

  19. TheElder

    I am just waiting

    To see something like this where I live. I am in Victoria. The waters here are about as busy as it can be. We have all sorts big and little islands, cruise ships, numerous ferries, tankers, sail boats, fishing boats, cabin cruisers, research vessels, whale watchers, movie makers, yachts from all over the world, barges, military from both sides of the border with submarines.

    I may have missed a few. These all must go through the quite narrow Straight of Wanna Fuck You. While it may look wide on Google Earth the actual channel is narrow. There are plenty of rocks. The entire area is mostly forms of granite. You want to build anything? Blasting is required.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am just waiting

      Been there and it is damned busy in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Not as busy as the Strait of Malacca which I've been through on several occasions. By the way, I still remember my visit to Victoria. Absolutely gorgeous and the people took great care of me during the stay.

      1. TheElder

        Re: I am just waiting

        Victoria is one of the safest cities in North America. Many people here smile.

  20. Banksy
    Happy

    "The Chinese stuck their oar in...."

    I see what you did there.

  21. Steve 114
    Black Helicopters

    Why-ever would a fast ship choose to cross the bows of some slow giant (with a big shadow), unexpectedly? Not once but more than once? Could any (covert) submariners advise?

    1. TheElder

      Why-ever would a fast ship choose to cross the bows

      The usual reason is incompetence.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Easy to imagine what happened

    "OMG! Navigator! What does the computer show?"

    "Upgrade of Windows 10 is 40% complete, Cap'n!"

  23. Mystic Megabyte
    FAIL

    RAM

    A long time ago I was working on a dive boat in the Coral Sea. It was a 60ft. Japanese built boat with a Japanese name and that strange curved prow that they favour. Anyhoo, the skipper was knackered and gave me the wheel, at this time I knew nothing about navigation. Before retiring he pointed out a couple of trawlers on the radar and gave me a course to steer. After a while I was seeing a radar target coming towards us. Using the binoculars all I could see was a tiny black dot. The only thing that I could think of was that it was a submarine. I woke up the skipper and told him of the situation.

    Yup, it was the Australian navy, I said that on seeing us we would most likely be torpedoed, being a Jap boat etc. We passed a couple of cables apart, they were in the conning tower wearing duffel coats and drinking cocoa! (OK that bit is not true).

    We waved at each other and steamed on.

    On a serious note, the tanker that collided with the McCain was probably either "Constrained by draught" or had "Restricted ability to manoeuvre" or both. Just get out of their way!

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: RAM

      "the tanker that collided with the McCain". So far I doubt the tanker was to blame. And if so the tanker was obliged to keep it's speed and direction. Again if the tanker was to blame then the navy ship was dumb getting hit. But I suppose it will all eventually be clear.

  24. Sir Alien

    If it's bigger than you....

    Get out of the way.

    I apply this equally to any form of travel. Road, Sea or Space

    Most likely the smaller vessel will always be more manoeuvrable unless dead in the water. Basic physics

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Stratman

    From Twitter

    HaveIGotNewsForYou‏Verified account @haveigotnews 5h5 hours ago

    As search continues after US ship/oil tanker collision, President Trump says his thoughts are with the oil companies at this difficult time.

  26. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    On a small sailboat in mid-ocean I took yet another bearing on the white mast light that was rising higher and higher, still on a constant bearing despite my earlier precautionary course change. I rushed below to try to start the engine as we were making less than 2 Kts in the light wind - but the engine refused to play ball. I knew that the rate at which the light was rising meant an exceptionally fast closing speed, the single mast light denoting a smaller vessel so maybe a non-displacement hull, and by the time the much lower red or green position light appeared it would probably be almost upon us.

    I was beginning to panic and I was just about to set off a red flare when I realised that the thing I had been trying to avoid was ... Venus.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aah, Venus... Good ship, that.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tesla pilot of the sea

    Bit of a tragedy for those lost and you get the impression they are so advanced in the us navy that they must run on autopilot most of the time with minimally trained crew.

    They guys were probably all geek types in case of some sort of IT issue.

    I dont like to think someone in charge of so much is just a bit of a bellend.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

    Don't bother with cruise missiles or torpedoes when you can simply ram them with any old container ship or oil tanker. Surely the Navy needs to get on top of this if for no other reason than terrorists could theoretically stow away on board such a ship, commandeer it, and use it to try to ram Navy ships, kill a few sailors, and put a multi-billion dollar piece of equipment out of commission for a year.

    Talk about one hell of a dandy ISIS recruitment video...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

      As someone else mentioned earlier, this is getting beyond a coincidence. And why even stow away and commandeer it when you can just get a job on the ship? Surely this whole thing smacks of an orchestrated attempt to degrade the US Seventh Fleet's capability.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

        OK, scoff/downvote if you must, but a certain defence technology alert service has now posited the possibility that the navigational systems of the civilian craft involved had been hacked. And not pointing the finger at Russia specifically (because of course it's the Norks or China most likely behind it) but apparently the Russians have been trialling such a system in the Black Sea recently.

        1. SkippyBing

          Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

          'posited the possibility that the navigational systems of the civilian craft involved had been hacked'

          But then CNN have reported that there was a steering gear failure on the McCain, which sounds more likely. It does raise questions about the crew's preparedness for such an event and how recently they'd practised the drills for going to reversionary mode.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

            Even if someone hacked the steering of a civilian ship, there's no way an oil tanker should be able to ram a Navy ship that's faster and far more maneuverable. If they're that easy to ram, they aren't going be of much use in a real war if all you need to do is keep sending old rusty ships at them until they run out of torpedoes.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

              they aren't going be of much use in a real war

              Exactly! The navy are like those knights in bright and shiny armour long after the musket was invented!

              Good for brightening up tournaments and looking righteous against peasants, yet bound to be shot up for good in the first real fight against a proper opponent.

              Since the majority are not actually doing anything of any consequence, standards are bound to drop and then accidents/scandals happen from simple boredom and futility, like with the nuclear missiles - https://www.stripes.com/news/us/9-nuclear-missile-wing-leaders-fired-commander-resigns-1.274969#.WaBrZ617E6g

    2. khjohansen
      FAIL

      Re: Low tech method of attacking the US Navy

      Ahh, tankers and container carriers. The most nimble, agile nymphs of the seaways.

  29. TheElder

    Low tech method of attacking

    It shouldn't be possible. My son was at the helm of a Iroquois-class destroyer in the Taiwan strait one time. Visibility was poor. They were at normal cruising speed. They suddenly detected a rogue fisherman with his nets spread in the middle of the channel. Most military would simply run over them, too bad, so sad. This was the first time my son was at the helm so the captain gave the order for hard to port.

    They missed the idiot but most likely chopped up his nets. It also wasn't very funny for the crew as the ship heeled maybe 30 degrees. That dumped people from bunks as well as large pots of food in the galley. My son was ribbed a lot but it certainly wasn't his fault. He was following orders.

  30. Ken Y-N
    Paris Hilton

    DON'T MISS

    I see that this story is now featured prominently on the front page with said DON'T MISS heading.

    Paris too is puzzled as to whether or not That's The Joke.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DON'T MISS

      Paris has seen a lot of seamen.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are laws, and there is common sense

    Of course all ships at sea should adhere to the law and the rules of navigation. But sometimes some of them don't.

    On the other hand, I would assume that a warship - of whatever nation, but especially one that is on the far side of the world from its home port - should always be alert and on the lookout.

    How the hell could you avoid being torpedoed by an enemy submarine, or even sunk by gunfire, when you don't notice that you are about to be rammed by a bloody great tanker?

    1. SkippyBing

      Re: There are laws, and there is common sense

      'one that is on the far side of the world from its home port' It's home port is in Japan.

      ' I would assume that a warship should always be alert and on the lookout.' You'd be surprised, in a peacetime cruising watch you may have minimal sensors manned, otherwise it's just practice bleeding. Surprisingly few ships get attacked by enemy vessels outside a war zone, as oddly enough that would be a declaration of war, so the world's navies don't sail around trying to sink each other the whole time. That's no excuse for hitting a 30000 tonne tanker though.

  32. Mr. Moose
    Devil

    Holey Ship! Not again!?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bridge Resource Management is significant as it means they are looking at a breakdown within the team on the bridge. If you read MAIB reports, you'll find this is a significant factor in many collisions. As a skipper, it only takes a couple of weak links in your bridge teams to increase everyone's workload to unsustainable levels.

    The RN does not have a good reputation in this area either.... they have killed many UK civilians, mainly fishermen. The most recent MAIB report on a RN sub and fishing boat collision was scathing about the RN's operational management.

    In the recent US Navy cases it's US personnel that have been killed, hence the headlines and involvement of the crusted monkeys.

    If your ignorance and lack of situational awareness kills poor civilians... promotion awaits (slightly delayed for appearances), if you kill your own crew or expensively dent your own ship in full view of the world..... fire and brimstone will rain upon you.

    Colregs also state that the stand on vessel shall make efforts to avoid collision if it deems that actions of the give way vessel are insufficient. In the case of a flighty destroyer and a bulk carrier.... the destroyer is almost certainly in the wrong whether it was stand on or give way.

  34. Aodhhan

    This is what happens

    ...when training and exercise funds are cut, along with people being promoted ahead of others because they suck up to the same thinking.

    Thank you Obama, your dereliction of duty as commander-in-chief has cost more lives.

    It will take the DoD around 3-6 years to recover from 8 years of neglect.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: This is what happens

      Nope. This is what happens when you put idiots in charge of large items.

      It's quite the apt analogy to the USA right now.

      1. fajensen Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: This is what happens

        What happens when one keeps on bloating the already most bloated military in the known universe - one first runs out of actual talent, then the organisation becomes average, and finally one starts scraping the barrel which means that the moron fraction now grows faster than the "processes and procedures"-department can write programming for them!

  35. Sporkinum

    weight and manuverablity

    Tanker was 30,000 to 50,000 fully loaded. Destroyer 8,000 to 9000 tonnes. Destroyers are maneuverable, tankers are not. both should have done avoidance maneuvers, but the most effective and culpable should have been the destroyer. Not only that, the destroyer was bristling with radar/instrumentation, and should have had unimpeachable situational awareness.

    Wife thinks with 2 accidents, it was some diddling with gps signals that gave bad info on purpose.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: weight and manuverablity

      "

      Wife thinks with 2 accidents, it was some diddling with gps signals that gave bad info on purpose.

      "

      Not very likely. The tanker would have been broadcasting it's position based upon the same GPS constellation the destroyer was receiving - so relative positions would have been accurate. But in any case, the bridge crew should have been visual the whole time, so even if the instruments were wrong, that's like blaming your gps when you T-bone a cyclist at a junction.

    2. SkippyBing

      Re: weight and manuverablity

      'Wife thinks with 2 accidents, it was some diddling with gps signals that gave bad info on purpose.'

      I'm guessing she's never driven a ship.

  36. WolfFan Silver badge

    IT content

    Here's the list of the dead and 'missing' from John S. .McCain. http://www.newser.com/story/247690/these-are-the-10-sailors-lost-in-navy-collision.html?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_1992885

    It seems that the tanker scored a direct hit on the IT department berthing area.

  37. Brian Allan 1

    For a navy that claims to be able to fire an intelligent missile that can strike within 10m of its intended target not be able to navigate through commercial ship traffic is totally ridiculous!! Making America Great Again one ship collision at a time! Sure looks like American technology is working far below acceptable standards!?

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