USS John S McCain collides with merchant ship

NSP

LE
I am waiting for the adhoc reckoning of our oracle on this latest update.
Indeed. His pronouncements on running lights, shapes and the workings of the autopilot were an absolute revelation. Who knew...?

I mean, I've only spent nineteen years working at sea; other ArRSers moreso and with actual navigational responsibilities and experience.
 

Wooden Wonder

War Hero
Getting back to Bridge procedures on US warships; I stumbled across an interesting blog article on the US Naval Institute website written by a retired USN Captain - which contained a surprising recollection: (full article is here)

"I will not pretend to have a clue regarding the circumstances that led to the collisions of the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) or the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-63) so I won’t comment on what might or might not have happened. Nor am I the guy to critique the navy’s process for training and selecting officers for command-at-sea. But what I will say is that sometimes avoiding a collision is much more difficult than you’d think. In fact, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.

In a career that included seven ships, six of them came mere feet away from catastrophes like what happened on the John S. McCain and the Fitzgerald. While roughly half of those near misses were the direct result of ownship negligence or poor watch-standing, the others were caused by either severe weather, low visibility, shipping density, engineering casualties, inherently risky missions in restricted waters, or some combination of those factors."


Even if half of them were the result of external factors; it strikes me as an extraordinarily large number of near miss ' catastrophes for one person to have experienced.
Was he known as 'Uncle Albert'? ;)
 

OllieReeder

War Hero
A bit off topic - sorry - but one of the oddities of the RN during the Second World War was that two of the most highly regarded vessels for consistently superb ship-handling were the Belgian corvettes, HM Ships Buttercup and Godetia; there were not enough Belgian sailors to form a Free Belgian Navy, but instead they formed a Belgian Section within the RN itself. They were mostly from the cross-Channel ferry community (which was why they had been safe in the UK when the Germans invaded). The two corvettes' crews were distinctly average on ASW tasks, but since every watch-keeping officer was a fully qualified Master, it was generally reckoned that if you got torpedoed, there was no ship you would rather see coming to pick you up, as they were superlative at those key seamanship skills. Pulled off some heroic rescues in the foulest of conditions, including the monstrous HX229/SC122 battle in 1943.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
In sixties the RN, assisted by the Applied Psychology Unit at Cambridge, gave a lot of thought to watchkeeping routines when it realised that ships might substantially have to be fought in port and starboard Defence Watches [that was one of the reasons for (eventually, in 1972) switching from deep specialist Gunnery and ASW officers to a hybrid called the Principal Warfare Officer]. One offering that lasted for a while was 7 & 5, whereby one watch was on 0100-0800 and 1300-1800, the other the opposite way, with no creeping adjustment via the 2 hour dog watches 1600-2000. The OOW on the bridge however would typically be in traditional three 4 hour watches but would also be taking a turn at other things like Flight Deck Officer for the helo when required. It was a belated acknowledgment that fatigue is not necessarily a sign of moral weakness. 7 & 5 eventually largely gave way to six and six. The time off however has to cover action stations, replenishment, the day job, meals, personal housekeeping so you still don't get the medically recommended quantity of continuous sleep. We won two world wars without that so who cares!
 

merchantman

War Hero
For those still interested:


According to reports, the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) of Singapore stated that they had reviewed the Maritime and Port Authority's (MPA) Vessel Traffic Information System recordings. They found that both combined chemical and oil tanker Alnic MC and guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain showed up on MPA's radar. TSIB added that it only received AIS signals from the tanker and not from the warship. However, the bureau said that, under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, mandatory carriage of AIS does not apply to warships and troopships. The complete report of Singapore's investigations into the collision will reportedly be made public once it is ready, which usually takes up to 12 months. -- Correspondent.

 
The Real Reason the US Navy Keeps Hitting Merchant Vessels - Soldier of Fortune Magazine

An interview with a USN captain who wishes to remain incognito

Cheers
Well this certainly jumped out at me.

"I am willing to bet that those ships involved in incidents with merchants had all their sexual orientation, transgender training, and environmental training all completed at the expense of the safety and operational training.

If you put the emphasis on social issues, you get a social force. If you put it on operational issues, you get an operational force"


Otherwise, the Captain sounds a bit chippy tbh
 

endure

GCM
"There is no way on my ships that would have happened. We always had direct leadership. Leadership that was there, present and capable. I am willing to bet that those ships involved in incidents with merchants had all their sexual orientation, transgender training, and environmental training all completed at the expense of the safety and operational training."

On merch ships that I sailed on we didn't have 'direct leadership, leadership that was there present and capable'.

We just had people who were trained to look out of the ******* window.
 
Given that the Captain wanted to remain incognito, he was very forthcoming with his career history. If I could be bothered, I reckon I could work out the colour of his car in about half an hour.
 

NSP

LE
"There is no way on my ships that would have happened. We always had direct leadership. Leadership that was there, present and capable. I am willing to bet that those ships involved in incidents with merchants had all their sexual orientation, transgender training, and environmental training all completed at the expense of the safety and operational training."

On merch ships that I sailed on we didn't have 'direct leadership, leadership that was there present and capable'.

We just had people who were trained to look out of the ******* window.
On the ships I work on diversity training is delivered, thus: "We're all in the same boat. We're all adults. You will at all times treat each other with respect and courtesy, regardless*. Right; at 11:00hrs there will be a muster drill. Fire teams will assemble in full kit on hearing the alarm ready to conduct this or that drill, etc, etc, etc."






* This does not preclude robust humour, banter or shouting at someone when they act like an inefficient, time-serving tit**.

** Read; spends most of their shift on Faceberk.
 

NSP

LE
At least they've avoided a Second Class or three days on bread and water.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
If the CO is not possessed of good judgment the fault lies with whoever gave him the job in the first place.
 

Cole

Old-Salt
Not sure he is being retired because of the collisions. Adm. Swift has 38 years of active duty, is sixty years old and has not been selected for higher command. The Admiral has held his currant command for over 29 months, while the average tenure for this billet has been 26 months.
It will probably be a couple a months before he is actually relieved.
The "Fitzgerald" and "John S McCain" are forth level commands with DESRON 15, US 7th FLEET and COMNAVSURFPAC in between. The collisions were without a doubt not a credit to Adm. Swift's promotion prospects but I doubt that his retirement is punishment for the incidents.
It might be noted that Adm. Swift did not attend Canoe U. oops I meant the US Naval Academy.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Although the civilian ship was not blameless, that must make for extremely embarrassing reading for the USN. The crew on the bridge did not seem to be able to understand how the ship worked! Clueless but in command might be harsh on the bridge team but that is how it reads.

USN's method for sorting the issues, more Manning. Well I hope they train them properly before handing them a full driving licence.
 

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