(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued the final report of the investigation of the 17 June 2017 collision involving the US Navy destroyer Fitzgerald and the container ship ACX Crystal off Japanâs Honshu Island.
Fitzgerald was southbound at a speed of about 22.1 knots and ACX Crystal was east-northeast-bound at a speed of about 18.5 knots. As the distance between the two ships continuously decreased, neither vessel radioed the other.
Seconds before the collision, the watch officers attempted to maneuver the vessels to avoid impact, but the actions were too late, and the ships collided.
Seven Navy sailors died in the accident and three others suffered serious injuries. The destroyer sustained extensive damage to its forward starboard side.
The container ship sustained damage to its bow; no injuries were reported.Â The probable cause of the collision between the destroyerÂ and the container shipÂ was the destroyerâs bridge teamâs failure to take early and substantial action to avoid collision as the give-way vessel in a crossing situation.
Contributing was ineffective communication and cooperation among the destroyerâs members on the bridge and in the combat information center (CIC), and the destroyerâs commanding officerâs (CO) insufficient planning for the hazards of the vesselâs intended transit.
Also contributing was the Navyâs ineffective oversight of the destroyer in the areas of operations scheduling, crew training, and fatigue mitigation. Also contributing to the accident was the container shipâs watch officerâs lack of early detection of the Navy vessel and insufficient actions to avoid collision once in doubt as to the destroyerâs intentions.
- the insufficient training of the Fitzgeraldâs crew;
- Fitzgerald crew fatigue;
- the practice of US Navy vessels to not broadcast automatic identification system signals;
- failure of both shipsâ crews to take actions in accordance with the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea;
- insufficient oversight and directive by the U.S. Navy;
- the commanding officerâs inadequate assessment of the transit routeâs hazards; and
- the commanding officerâs decision to not augment bridge watchstanding personnel with a more experienced officer.
For more details, click on below image to download full report: