Skip to comments.UPDATE - USS Fitzgerald involved in collision
Posted on 06/17/2017 3:16:48 AM PDT by topher
tory Number: NNS170616-20Release Date: 6/16/2017 4:57:00 PM
From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs
PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.
As of this time, there have been two patients requiring medical evacuation. One was Cmdr. Bryce Benson, Fitzgerald's commanding officer, who was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka and is reportedly in stable condition. A second MEDEVAC is in progress. Other injured are being assessed. There are seven Sailors unaccounted for; the ship and the Japanese Coast Guard continues to search for them.
Although Fitzgerald is under her own power, USS Dewey (DDG 105) got underway this morning as well as several U.S. Navy aircraft, and will join Japanese Coast Guard and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopters, ships and aircraft to render whatever assistance may be required.
"U.S. and Japanese support from the Navy, Maritime Self Defense Force and Coast Guard are in the area to ensure that the Sailors on USS Fitzgerald have the resources they need to stabilize their ship. As more information is learned, we will be sure to share to it with the Fitzgerald families and when appropriate the public. Thank you for your well wishes and messages of concern. All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families," said Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations.
"Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the Sailors," said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. "We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance."
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.cpf.navy.mil.
Official Navy release of Collision helps clarify.
Additionally, if sailors went overboard because of the collision, they could could have sucked into the propellors or run over by either ship involved.
People need to pray for the sailors.
What’s normal practice, life vests on deck? Which ought to float the wearer well enough to avoid below surface equipment? May the Lord have mercy but sometimes people can be foolish.
I wonder why the skipper was on deck at that time of the morning? Too bad. His career is certainly in jeopardy.
Life vest are not normal unless rough seas.
Losing the ship’s commander to an accident — not a good idea
I was wondering why he was on deck also. On a submarine, he would have been called to the control room or to the bridge at the first sign of a close approach in the open ocean. I agree with you though, his career is in jeopardy - and probably (deservedly) ended.
But still, being in a shipping traffic lane? Kind of like why seat belts are worn when we drive, suitable gear on motorcycles etc. even if it wasn’t a legal requirement. The other guy might do something stupid.
If this is still the Navy I used to be in then the Navy Safety Command Center will study this accident/incident for years. Dozens of training films with catchy titles will be made and this incident will be used as an example in every seamanship class going forward. It will be scrutinized to death ad nauseum.
The only time life jackets are worn is during general quarters. Makes sense.
I’ve been out of the loop....does it look like it was the
fault of the Fitzgerald?
“If this is still the Navy I used to be in then the Navy Safety Command Center will study this accident/incident for years. Dozens of training films with catchy titles will be made and this incident will be used as an example in every seamanship class going forward. It will be scrutinized to death ad nauseum.”
Exactly, I agree 1,000% with that.
Life vests will not prevent someone in the water and close to an active propeller from being sucked under and into the props. Navy ships at speed and merchant container ships have huge wakes and so the suction is huge.
Several times saw surfaced boomer subs going slow returning in Strait of Juan de Fuca - wakes were about 4 feet high and 30 across near the boat.
in this case “on deck” means he was on the bridge, this is where a surface ship is controlled from. Looking at the damaged bridge wing, my guess is he was there at the time of collision.
Nobody will dare be caught coming close to this state of affairs again.
I suppose the sound of the collision horn woke him up. Both ships were probably doing more than twenty knots on their planned course. Merchant ships have very few people on the bridge normally, but even the most basic navigational radar should have sounded a collision warning. Reliance on aids to navigation is no substitute for vigilance.
The situation on the Fitzgerald is a little murkier. This should never have happened. Warship have the personnel, training and procedures to make this kind of incident all but impossible. Someone was not following procedures. There was almost certainly dereliction, and for this the Captain (may he recover soon and completely) is responsible. The sailors’ lives depend on him.
Kinda sucks to be hit in the helm
Deck personnel will also wear life jackets during special operations such as sea and anchor detail or unreps
The CO might not have been on deck...he could gave been on his way to the bridge..
..on a stairrail....passageway....close to impact area.....a collision with a cargo ship 7-10 times larger than the Fitzgerald..is gonna rattle things...including bones
How the hell do two ships collide?
Uninjured sailors are good swimmers and a life jacket is irrelevant when thrown overboard. If a sailor receives an injury and is unconscious then he will likely die if he doesn’t have on a life vest prior to being thrown overboard. The biggest threat to a sailors life when in the drink is water temperature and hypothermia.
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