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Thread: OT: The destroyer Fitzgerald's collision with a container vessel

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdtom44 View Post
    I hope that this "incredible complexity" doesn't bite us when a ship is actually in a battle situation someday and is damaged and these automatic computer controls aren't working or are somehow working wrong and something like this happens but worse. What ever happened to KISS (keep it simple stupid). If there is or has to be "incredible complexity" it should be able to be turned off with one switch and control of the ship would fall back to "emergency" or "manual old fashion" controls. Even verbal from the bridge to the engine room via the sound powered phone. Wonder if they still have them or are they too old tech? And thanks Boats for your insight. My navy experience in the early 70s was in the engine room of a diesel electric ship from WWII and I don't know much about the rules of the road. What I know is that we always had someone with headphones on (sound powered phones incase the power was off as happened on occasion), who could communicate with the bridge incase the Engine Order Telegraph failed or some other emergency or need to communicate.
    My experience working on destroyers of FITSGERLDS age in the steering gear room there is a sound powered phone station and manual hand crank to operate steering in case of emergency, lock out and disconnect remote operation of steering and shift to manual, hand operate rudders under command from bridge

    Steve

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Steven View Post
    My experience working on destroyers of FITSGERLDS age in the steering gear room there is a sound powered phone station and manual hand crank to operate steering in case of emergency, lock out and disconnect remote operation of steering and shift to manual, hand operate rudders under command from bridge

    Steve
    I would not think that would be very fast reacting....
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  3. #33

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    I have no sea experience - but many years in Army command jobs both active duty and reserve component. For the life of me I cannot imagine senior leaders (flag rank) being so out of touch that they would actually deploy this ship. Anyone who has ever studied the prevention of failure in complex systems would be smacking their head into the wall reading this piece - and I'm assuming that it is pretty accurate reporting as presented. The captain of the ship has to shoulder a large part of the blame - to run the crew hard for 16 or 17 hours then go to sea is the first step. Again, I am not a naval officer, but the training level of those in control while under way that night amazed me. I'm not saying they are bad people, but putting inexperienced people in positions where the probability of complex issues arising is nuts. Add in fatigue, night operations in a busy environment and you have trouble.

    The culture they operated in seems to be one of 'we can do anything with nothing'. Less is less and sooner or later you are going to get bit. The ship's captain is responsible (that is what command is) - it would be good to have an environment where he could have told his boss BS - we are not capable of performing this safely. But that would probably have ended his career, so everyone agrees to not be 'the one'. For those reasons I would have also charged his boss - if things were as they appear to be in this story.

    All my comments above are valid for peacetime operations - once at war the calculus changes.

    And one aside as to the comment about contractors (I was one of those as well). Contractors are not perfect and make their share of mistakes. But that also cuts two ways. The customer dictates how the system is to work - and it is amazing how at times the egos, desires and rank lead to complex solutions to simple problems. But that is another whole can of worms.

    And to paraphrase one of my old professors - 'Even in these days of enlightened leadership, the commander who tells his superior the truth best have one foot in the stirrup'. It is not easy standing up for your troops when you need to, but it is criminal NOT to do it. And that means speaking truth to the boss. That is the other side of the command equation - at times not easy to do.

    Dale

  4. #34

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    All ships have emergency steering gear. It’s not intended to operate instantly. After steering station is not manned on a modern container ship. Vessels Engineers know how to operate it and do when the ship is inspected. They can probably get it operating in 15 min. Time to walk / climb down from the crews accomadition at least 10 min. That’s if the engineer is awake and ready to go. Modern international vessels the engine room is locked, engineers are day workers

    Navy may have a watch stander on duty after steering when close quarter maneuvering, I don’t know. Can’t imagine they do at sea and simular response times would apply.

    Agree the contractor comment often manager specifying the job is at fault. General rule guy closest to the job knows the most about it.


    Boats
    Last edited by boats; 02-11-2019 at 05:53 PM.

  5. #35

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    Apologies to all my steering complexity comment refered to the USS John McCain collision. The official reports McCain and Fitzgerald were consolidated for publication . Read them when they were avalable some time ago replied to the thread from memory.

    The actual report is probably more interesting to this forum than the quoted article. Link is attached. Situations are very simular


    https://s3.amazonaws.com/CHINFO/USS+...on+Reports.pdf

    Boats

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Is there not a rule similar to the "cop car rule"? A cop when not proceeding on a call with lights etc, is expected to obey the traffic laws.
    I wish someone would inform the cops here about that "rule"!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baz View Post
    A ship has a mast, a boat doesn't.
    How do you figure that works? Any sail yacht has a mast, but that don't make it a ship. Even back in the age of sail, any ship's boat could step a mast. Lastly, those WW2 subs had masts for their radar, and they were definitely boats.

  7. #37
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    Thanks Boats. I just read through the report that you liked to. It was quite damning of several of the processes in place, including the failure of the watch people to effectively use equipment such as radar in once case and the switching of navigation control from station to station in the other.

    I hope they manage to correct whatever mindset lets a crew steam through a crowded area at 20 knots when they can't quite tell what's out there.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  8. #38
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    What a shameful and avoidable accident.

    I was on the Reuben James (FFG-57). When we were underway we usually had our fire control radar cranked up and running. It was the most accurate radar on board. I was a firecontrolman (FC).

    If there were any Targets (contacts) the FCs should have picked it up and seen if anyone else in CIC sees it and relay the info to the plot table then to the bridge. Takes about three seconds. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRouche View Post

    I was on the Reuben James (FFG-57).
    Out of curiosity I googled her. Why was such a beautiful ship only in commission 27 years? Is that normal? Why scuttled instead of sold off?

  10. #40
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    "A..................... The real danger is that one day the kid in the fighter will get too close showing off and bump into the big plane."

    Or two subs will get too close and.............. Read Blind Mans Bluff for some sub tales of spying during the cold war. If you aren't familiar with this book it is a great read, a "can't put it down".

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