It’s starting to look that way. A crewman on the Navy Destroyer wrote to his mother. She relates this much:
My son is assigned to the USS Fitzgerald. I am unable to share his rate with you.
The information is short and not so sweet. The implications are disturbing.
The ship is registered in the Philippines. We do not know who the owner is. The container ship neither had its running lights or transponder on. That is an action taken willfully. Furthermore, for the container ship to strike with such accuracy is troublesome. Given what some have done with cars in Europe, what a feather in the cap it would be to sink a U.S. Navy warship. Think on that.
My son missed being washed out to sea by the blink of an eye. He was on his way to one of the berthing areas that was rammed.
Yes, language is important. “Rammed” is the perfect word.
Loving and Concerned Navy Mother”
Japan’s coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported.
A coast guard official said Monday they are trying to find out what the crew of the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was doing before reporting the collision to authorities 50 minutes later.”
The upshot of the way the navigation rules are written is that if there’s a collision it is almost never the case that either master is absolved. The only real way you avoid some responsibility is if you’re properly anchored (and dayshaped/lit) or tied to a pier.
If you’re legally underway (moving or not) you’re going to get some percentage of the fault, in short.
But then this showed up and calls into question exactly where the split of fault lies.
Boy that looks suspicious. First, the freighter doubled back at speed and then altered course again just before the impact.
Remember, this happened in clear weather, at night. There is no reason to believe visibility was impaired or anything of the sort. The first violent, unsolicited maneuver (doubling back) looks suspicious standing alone given that the vessel’s intended path was northeast if it was proceeding as-planned. The second course adjustment southward just before the impact looks even worse.”