Skip to main content

COVERING UP?

It is now over two weeks since the collision between the USS Porter DDG 78 and the MT Otawasan in the approaches to the Strait of Hormuz. 

So far there is not even an Official Initial Comment to indicate what happened much less a Report.  Yes! the Commanding Officer of the USS Porter DDG 78 has been relieved of Command as is to be expected but how about the entire Bridge Watch that were on duty at the time?  It is quite likely that they were directly responsible for causing this incident in the first place.

This in and of itself is nothing new in the current United States Navy, the Navy publishes a list of both commissioned Officers and non-commissioned Officers relieved of their duties on a regular basis.  This disgraceful state of affairs would indicate to seafarers, particularly those of us who have held Command and stood Bridge Watches, in the case of NAUTICAL LOG over 100,000 hours, that there is a serious problem in the training of and selection of Officers and non-commissioned Officers for Command positions.  Indeed it might well indicate a serious problem in the advancement to Flag Rank of Officers who make these selections - all told a spreading malaise.

Reading the various Navy and maritime blogs also reveals a complete lack of knowledge of VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) tanker operations and their maneuvering characteristics.  In one blog there was a discussion that the tanker which is 333 metres in length could have preformed a "crazy ivan" which "confused the DDG Bridge Watch Team" now the only reason NAUTICAL LOG knows anything about a "crazy ivan" is from being a fan of the Tom Clancy novels.

Comments like that boggle the mind and of course go beyond being laughable to being sadly pathetic showing an appalling lack of seamanship knowledge.  How a 333 metre vessel with a draft of nearly 20 metres moving ahead at 12 knots could execute such a maneuver, never to mind the why, is indeed mind boggling.

Besides the USS Porter DDG 78 was hit on its starboard side which indicates she was crossing from port to starboard thus under RULE 15 is the giving way vessel.  It does not matter what the VLCC was doing the Naval vessel must stay clear of her and since the USS Porter DDG 78 has three times the speed with virtually instant ability to maneuver clear it appears she is entirely at fault.

Maybe that is why there is no Report from the United States Navy because once again in general and in this region of the World in particular the USN has screwed up adding to its list of incidents and Command reliefs.  Amongst our regular visitors are the NNIC at its various locations and USNA Midshipmen who seem equally un-informed as to an Official Initial Comment on the collision from their own Navy and look to NAUTICAL LOG for information.  One should perhaps take that as a compliment!!

Update August 31, 2012:  As NAUTICAL LOG was reviewing some data on Bridge Watch Teams we counted the persons on the Bridge in that Post below.  There are 14 or 15 persons, as some are hidden behind others.  When commanding a container ship operating from the East Cost U.S. and Canada to the West Coast of Africa (8 to12 Ports of call) and up the Congo River to Matadi we were 11 total crew.  Now the question is are the USN Bridge Teams too big and the duties too divided thus the OOW does not have the complete picture of what is happening or that orders given have been correctly carried out.  It just might be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth!

Good Watch.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PERIGEAN SPRING TIDES

It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.

FAKE NEWS

In recent years there has been a steady decline in the professionalism, accuracy and quality of the various Media outlets and the social media.  In the rush to get there first with a story the shoddy Media - lets call it the really shoddy social media - have resorted to making up stories.  When growing up in the late 30's and 40's this was called lying and got one punished in our house.

Fake news includes inaccurate and unsupported stories all of which in the last year have been published without correction or apology.  Now it seems this attitude has spread to the maritime blogs.  One blog which was generally pretty good about its posts has slipped in accuracy lately including quoting from European tabloids.  A recent post was about H.M.S. Vengeance and its missile launches off the coast of Florida part of its programme to Certify boat and crew  The story was an ill advised, inaccurate choice in subject matter as to what happened and how the incident was reported to a Foreign N…

SS EL FARO VDR TRANSCRIPT

NAUTICAL LOG has published Posts about this tragic ship sinking since the very first report of her loss.  Today the NTSB has released her VDR data in particular the Navigation Bridge voice recorder - it is not good.  This Post is compiled from multiple Media sources.

On October 01, 2015 the SS El Faro a freighter sank with all hands, 33 crewmembers lost their lives and no bodies were ever recovered though one was sighted by the USCG in a survival suit but not picked-up.  By an extraordinary search, resumed at the insistence of a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida, the VDR was found  and now after months of investigation some results have been released. 

The ship left Jacksonville, Fl. bound for San Juan, PR and sailed directly into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane named Joaquin.  Why the ship was where it was in the first place is a question yet to be fully answered but it seems that the Master was more focused on fuel consumption than plotting the path of the hurricane Joaquin an…