Wednesday, June 21, 2017

GCaptain: Who is at fault? USS Fitzgerald- ACX Crystal Collision

AIS track of the ACX Crystal

 Who is at fault? USS Fitzgerald, ACX Crystal //GCaptain

By Captain John Konrad (gCaptain) Every ship, regardless of nationality or purpose, is required to carry one terse book . This book is titled the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions but is better know by its acronym “COLREGs”. The chapters are short and to the point and ship officers are required to make marks of 90% on COLREGs tests taken to keep up their licenses. In order to pass this stringent requirement sailors have developed mnemonic aids to help them remember the contents. When the crew loses control of steering, the COLREGs demands that the ship display two red lights in a vertical line. The mnemonic for this rule is “Red over Red, the Captain’s dead”. Sailboats are required to display a red and green light and its said “Red over Green, sailing machine”. There are many more like this but one important rule for avoiding collisions with Navy warships is missing: “If it’s grey stay away.”3
While the media, with a very little hard data, attempts to understand the erratic maneuvers of the containership ACX Crystal on the night of her collision with the Destroyer USS Fitzgerald… professional mariners are certain that a long investigation will find the US Navy ship at fault.