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USS John S. McCain vs Alnic MC

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USS John S. McCain vs Alnic MC

Old 21st Aug 2017, 07:02
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USS John S. McCain vs Alnic MC

Another day, another US warship collides with a merchant ship.

10 missing, 5 injured.

The collision occured at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time. There is a massive search and rescue underway, involving tug boats out of Singapore and helicopters. An MV-22 Osprey is expected to arrive soon.

President Trump, returning to the White House from his "working vacation," responded to word of the collision by saying, "that's too bad."

10 missing, 5 injured after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker in Pacific | Fox News.

Ten sailors are missing and five injured after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, the U.S. Navy said late Sunday.

Authorities said four of those injured were medically evacuated by a Singapore navy helicopter. They suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Search and rescue efforts were launched in coordination with local authorities, the Navy said. Initial reports indicated the warship sustained damage to its port side aft, the left rear of the ship.

The collision occured at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time. There is a massive search and rescue underway, involving tug boats out of Singapore and helicopters. An MV-22 Osprey is expected to arrive soon.

President Trump, returning to the White House from his "working vacation," responded to word of the collision by saying, "that's too bad."

The warship is named after John S. McCain, Sr., and John S. McCain, Jr., both Admirals in the U.S. Navy, and the grandfather and father, respectively, of the Arizona senator.

The ship is based at the fleet's homeport of Yokosuka, Japan. It was commissioned in 1994 and has a crew of 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors, according to the Navy's website.

The Alnic MC, the merchant vessel USS John S. McCain collided with, is a 600-foot oil and chemical tanker.

This crash came days after the top three leaders aboard the USS Fitzgerald were relieved of command. That warship was damaged badly in a collision off the coast of Japan that killed seven sailors in June. One of its compartments flooded in about 90 seconds.

The USS John S. McCain sailed by contested man-made islands in the South China Sea earlier this month, drawing China's "strong dissatisfaction."

Sen. McCain tweeted Sunday night he and his wife, Cindy, were keeping the sailors in their prayers. He'd recently visited the warship in Vietnam.

This marked the fourth mishap for U.S. Navy ships in the Pacific since February.

Aside from the USS McCain and USS Fitgerald incidents, the Navy crusier USS Antietam ran aground dumping over 1,000 gallons of oil in Tokyo Bay in Februray. In May, another cruiser, USS Lake Champlain, hit a South Korean fishing vessel.

An active-duty Navy officer expressed concern to Fox News over the training of young Navy officers aboard ships.

Its not the same level of training you used to get, the officer said.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 09:18
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It would certainly appear that Uncle Sam's war canoe drivers are dropping the ball a little too often. Any ex navy chaps got any insights or opinions to share? Keel hauled or flogged? What's required here?
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 09:26
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Originally Posted by Avionker View Post
It would certainly appear that Uncle Sam's war canoe drivers are dropping the ball a little too often. Any ex navy chaps got any insights or opinions to share? Keel hauled or flogged? What's required here?
Well, you have saved all the time and expense of an enquiry/court martial. Guilty of being from the USA!

The destroyer was struck square on, on the port side, suggesting that by the rules of the sea, it had right of way. There are maneuvering and lookout issues to consider, but apportioning blame right now would by any measure, be overly premature.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 09:35
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Originally Posted by sitigeltfel View Post
Well, you have saved all the time and expense of an enquiry/court martial. Guilty of being from the USA!

The destroyer was struck square on, on the port side, suggesting that by the rules of the sea, it had right of way. There are maneuvering and lookout issues to consider, but apportioning blame right now would by any measure, be overly premature.
I somehow doubt that anyone with less than honourable intentions would care too much about the rules of the sea?
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 09:52
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Originally Posted by sitigeltfel View Post
The destroyer was struck square on, on the port side, suggesting that by the rules of the sea, it had right of way. There are manoeuvring and lookout issues to consider.
How can a naval vessel allow itself to be 'attacked'?

I thought there should always be avoidance manoeuvres?
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:22
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Wonder if it was an intentional "Back At You!" for the Spratly visit.

Things seem to be a bit edgy everywhere!

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bf7_1503157427
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:41
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Originally Posted by sitigeltfel View Post
The destroyer was struck square on, on the port side, suggesting that by the rules of the sea, it had right of way. There are maneuvering and lookout issues to consider, but apportioning blame right now would by any measure, be overly premature.

That seems a reasonable conclusion, but we don't know if the warship was manoeuvring at the time. Also, the COLREGS state that when it becomes apparent to the stand on vessel that action by the give way vessel alone will be insufficient to avoid a collision, then the stand on vessel must take avoiding action. Given the performance differences between a modern destroyer and a 30,000t tanker, this should have been apparent to the crew of the warship long before a collision became unavoidable.

There seem to be very few scenarios where a substantial proportion of the blame wouldn't fall on the US crew.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:56
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We know that the mership hit the warship. What we don't know is who made the manoeuvre into the collision position? Was the warship overtaking and tried to cross ahead? Was the Mership passing and executed a turn to starboard?

Was the warship even underway at the time?

When Overtaking Another Boat: The boat being overtaken is the privileged vessel. Only after signaling and receiving an acknowledgment can the overtaking boat pass. (Use on blast to pass on the right, and two blasts to pass on the left.

Until we know how the manoeuvres were performed can charges be brought.

Looking at the collision alone it would appear to have been at very low speed as the damage is massive but localised. Looking at the horizontal extent of the damage the warship would not appear to have been travelling fast.

To me it looks as if the mership was the one at fault but as I said, until we know more.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:58
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Recc, your statement seems to suggest a similar conclusion to mine.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:59
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Wow.. Another collision! Surely the crew on watch would be monitoring the shipping around them and altering course if necessary in avoidance manuevers. They have access to Radar, AIS and I would have thought lookouts. How can this happen so frequently?

Perhaps we need Sea Traffic Controllers!
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 11:16
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Recc, your statement seems to suggest a similar conclusion to mine.
Broadly similar, but the starting position (for apportioning blame) is that a collision requires a fault by both parties. Obviously there are exceptions to that, but as a general rule it is useful, and particularly so when there is a big disparity in manoeuvrability (in favour of the stand on vessel).

Your observation that the destroyer looks to have been at low speed is interesting (I hadn't thought of that). However, from the point of view of the COLREGS, underway is the relevant standard, regardless of whether or not she was making way and I doubt she would have been anchored in the position that the collision was reported. Ultimately, with out knowing the respective actions leading up to the collision (I wonder whether the AIS track is available for either or both vessels), you can't make a judgement, but I would be very surprised if at least some responsibility wasn't placed onto the US crew, even if the merchant vessel was the give way vessel.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 12:00
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Originally Posted by sitigeltfel View Post
Well, you have saved all the time and expense of an enquiry/court martial. Guilty of being from the USA!
really, is that what you draw from what Avionker posted?
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 12:44
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Recc, my father was involved in a collision at night. I was on the bridge at the time as things were very confusing. Essentially the guilty vessel collided with a coaster two ahead, lost all electrical power, and swung without any lights down the starboard side of the vessel struck. The next ship swung to port to avoid presenting us with a vessel swinging across our bow starboard to port. We maneuvered to starboard and hit the guilty vessel amidships. It bounced down our starboard and shortly after sank.

It happened very quickly, it had come from a tributary about a mile ahead. Any radar plot would have been confused.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 12:51
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I see that the SLFs on here, in addition to being experts on all things aviation, are also maritime experts.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 12:56
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This video purports to show the AIS track of the merchant ship before and during the collision. The US warship has apparently got the AIS turned off (as is their right).

Two points:
1. The Alnic MC appears to be on a constant course and speed until at least 20s prior to the collision.
2. The Alnic MC is in the correct lane of a TSS (traffic separation scheme) during the collision.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlrA36GzHNs


Hard to draw any conclusions with just one side of the picture, but the most likely scenario seems to be the McCain crossing a TSS from N to S at 90 degrees (the correct way to do it), and a lack of situational awareness from both crews.

Possibly the merchant crew were overly dependent on AIS and failed to maintain an adequate lookout by radar and eye, and the US ship failed to react quickly enough to a developing close-quarters situation. Pure speculation of course so probably best not to say any more until more facts are known, but with 3 very similar incidents in the last 4 months it does seem to be a problem.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 13:04
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HEMES you presume.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 13:09
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Originally Posted by HEMS driver View Post
I see that the SLFs on here, in addition to being experts on all things aviation, are also maritime experts.
I see some of the "sky gods " on here cannot suppress their egos, even in Jet Blast.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 13:09
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Originally Posted by salad-dodger View Post
really, is that what you draw from what Avionker posted?
Maybe you didn't quite get the inference in what he/she said?

It would certainly appear that Uncle Sam's war canoe drivers are dropping the ball a little too often.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 13:16
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"Use on blast to pass on the right, and two blasts to pass on the left."
I'm not surprised these things happen if they use left and right.

Hems driver:
I see that the SLFs on here, in addition to being experts on all things aviation, are also maritime experts
Maybe some of the SLF here have a maritime background, you never know. The aviation experts will have to stand up for themselves.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 13:20
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The AIS track (of the merchant vessel only) has been posted on youtube and is quite interesting. You can see that it happened in a TSS with a relatively high density of traffic.

Given that this is the 3rd such incident in about 4 months (warship colliding with a merchant ship), it certainly seems to be a problem that needs addressing.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlrA36GzHNs
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