Cargo ship captain claims it gave warning to Fitzgerald and tried to steer to avoid before collision
A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship's captain.If this account is correct it suggests that watch on the Fitzgerald missed the warning somehow. If it had been alert it should have noticed the port side running lights on the cargo ship even without the warning lights. The US Navy has not yet identified those who were supposed to be on watch that night to my knowledge.
Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.
In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship's captain said the ACX Crystal had signalled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald "suddenly" steamed on to a course to cross its path.
The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula's report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reuters.
The U.S. Navy declined to comment and Reuters was not able to independently verify the account.
In his report, the ACX Crystal's captain said there was "confusion" on his ship's bridge, and that it turned around and returned to the collision site after continuing for 6 nautical miles (11 km).
Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows that the ACX Crystal, chartered by Japan's Nippon Yusen KK, made a complete U-turn between 12:58 a.m. and 2:46 a.m.