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New Dry Dock Photos Show the Scope of Hidden USS Fitzgerald Damage

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) sits in Dry Dock 4 at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka to continue repairs and assess damage sustained from its June 17 collision with a merchant vessel. US Navy Photo

A new series of photos released on Wednesday by U.S. 7th fleet now show the hidden damage suffered by USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) from its June 17 collision with a merchant vessel.

The pictures of the guided missile destroyer from the Navy’s dry dock facility in Yokosuka, Japan show the size of the hole the bulbous bow of ACX Crystal punched into Fitzgerald’s starboard side amidships below the waterline.

Four five foot by 20-foot hull patches have been installed to cover the hull breach welded in place by divers since the ship was been pier-side following the collision.

View of the steel patch over the hole merchant ship ACX Crystal made in the starboard side of USS Fitzgerald. US Navy Photo

While published images from Fitzgerald show the extensive damage to the ship’s superstructure above the waterline – including the collision’s effect on the ship’s A/N-SPY-1D(v) radar and the crushed commander’s cabin – the Wednesday images are the first that show how badly the destroyer was wounded below the waterline.

The below-the-waterline collision flooded two berthing spaces and one machinery space and resulted in the death of seven sailors.

In addition to the damage from the impact with Crystal, the ship’s hull was twisted, a sailor familiar with early reports from the waterfront that complicated the damage control efforts.

View of the damage to the super structure and hull damage of USS Fitzgerald. US Navy Photo

Now, Navy officials will take stock of the extent of the damage of Fitzgerald before the service makes a decision to complete repairs in Japan or back in the U.S.

A sailor stands below the hull patch over the starboard hole in USS Fitzgerald. US Navy Photo

Meanwhile, several investigations into the collision are ongoing.

Last month, the Navy announced the recently promoted Rear Adm. Brian Fort will head up the Navy’s Manual of the Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN) investigation into the collision.

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) sits in Dry Dock 4 at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka to continue repairs and assess damage sustained from its June 17 collision with a merchant vessel. US Navy Photo

  • kaigun2

    Seeing where the bow bulb penetrated makes the apparent angle of collision more clear.

    • Bob

      Right, but what does this tell us? I’m thinking the Crystal turned to port. What are your thoughts? Without knowing the speed and direction of travel of the USS Fitzgerald, how can we possibly know what really happened? For all I know, the Fitz could have been stationary, or even been moving astern.

      • tpharwell

        What we already know. Look at the damage of the two ships above the water line, and also the track of the Crystal. The Fitzgerald was struck on the starboard fore quarter. The Crystal, on the port bow. The angle is evident. The below waterline damage, simply consistent with it. At the time, the two ships were converging, though this is not to rule out course changes shortly before. The recorded track appears instantaneous, but this due to the nature of the data, which is periodic. Still, the Crystal at virtually the time of impact made a 90 degree turn to starboard, travelled some distance, then resumed its original course, then travelled on for another half hour or so, then turned around.
        With the Fitz not squawking (which is conjectural, and must be left to investigators to determine), dark, except for navigation lights (ditto), and the Crystal piled high with containers, perhaps higher than they should go (ditto), and the crew of the Crystal not looking too closely at their navigation radar, or that having a blind spot (ditto), but only the tracks of ships squawking, and having resumed course after collision, it is quite plausible that they, the Crystal crew, never saw the Fitz, nor otherwise realized its presence, nor thus had any idea of what they had hit.

        • waveshaper1

          REF; Google – “Japan Volume 1, Maritime Safety Information, 2017 PUB-158”; see Page 65 (Mikomoto Shima – Traffic Separation Scheme). This reference shows the shipping channel where this accident occurred (the channel at this location is basically like a divide interstate highway with a 1 mile median separating the one way lanes of traffic). This shipping channel is divided into three sections; You have an inbound shipping channel “for ships heading into Tokyo harbor” that is 2 miles wide (the Crystal was in the inbound shipping channel). You have an outbound shipping channel “for ships departing Tokyo harbor” that is 2 miles wide. There is a 1 mile buffer zone separating these two shipping channels.

          The Crystal was traveling in the inbound shipping channel heading east and making normal “minor course corrections” to the north because the channel changes direction to the North for entry into Tokyo harbor. There were other cargo ships also in this inbound channel (separated by a couple miles) and using AIS. The tracks of these other ships shows them making the same course corrections/at the same points as the Crystal (basically these other ships were following the channel which seems to be SOP). At the time of the collision the Crystal makes a 90 degree turn to the south/southeast (this is the direction you would turn to get the heck out of the shipping channel in the shortest amount of time/distance traveled and not cross the outbound shipping channel). etc.

          • tpharwell

            Thank you.

          • Ponyexpress

            Very logical but assumes that nobody will cross over ” their ” assigned lane.
            Something is not right on the Fitzgerald. It should never have allowed the proximity it did to allow for the collision. Not judging, just do not understand how the accident occurred.
            As a very proud ex Navy guy, I am dismayed at the delay in the report. Something ain’t right.

  • Gotta hand it to the guys who did that underwater work to get the patch on.

  • tteng

    A kid in our church is going to the navy this September. I asked him what he wants to do: an undersea welder. Now I know, and a tall order for him to follow, too.

    • john_koenig

      Big civilian money after his military career. Oil companies are always looking for those guys.

  • Ed L

    not the worst I have ever seen.

    • El Kabong

      It’ll buff out.

  • DefTactics

    That’s a long way to either sail or ride on a repair transport ship.My guess that it will go to the BAE Ship Maintenance Facility in Santiago CA.They do a bunch of midlife upgrades on the Burkes.The comment about the hull being twisted is suspect.The early pictures did make it look twisted. But with flooding and ballast issues now repaired in the latest photos before they drained the dry dock. It looks much better.

    • john_koenig

      USS Cole rode all the way from Yemen to Pascagoula on the deck of MV Blue Marlin in 2000.

  • Brian

    Top-notch patch job. BZ Navy Diver’s.

    • Aaron_Burr

      They’re the best.

      • ABHC(AW/SW)

        The Japanese workers at SRF Yokosuka are the ones that fabricated and installed the patch. They are amazing workers and don’t get the credit they deseve.

        • Bill

          amazing that people think this was done by divers over the side

          • tpharwell

            Not when you consider that that is what the USNI reports first said.

          • mecengdvr

            That’s because it was done by divers. Contractor divers under the direction the US Navy Supervisor of Salvage and diving.

          • Centaurus

            If you look closely, you can see the little people holding it up with all their might.

          • Dave Henk

            It was done by divers while ship was moored to the pier.

        • Dave Henk

          Negative on the Japanese yard workers. It was repaired by Phoenix International who has a contract for this kind of work on a round the clock basis.

        • mecengdvr

          Not exactly true. The material was supplied by SRF but the contractor divers (American company) did the installation in water.

    • Bob

      That patch wasn’t done by Navy divers. I worked in naval shipyards for 20 years and did similar repairs many times. That type of repair can only be done in dry dock. The stubs you see sticking out of the strongbacks (look it up) are called pad eyes (look it up). These allow cranes to lower the strongbacks into place. This repair was not done at sea.

      • roner

        Why in the world would they patch it in a DRYdock?!?! You’re as full of it as anyone.

        Even if they did wait ’til they got back to port, they obviously did this in the water. And, do you think they don’t have repair ships and cranes out at sea?

        • Palmi Rafn Eiriksson

          The patch repair was done so they can sail USS.Fitzgerald back to the States sides for full repairs

          • tpharwell

            Also to prevent further damage while sitting in drydock, like say developing a large crack at that point in the hull, since draining the water from underneath it, and allowing it to settle on posts puts strain on the hull and concentrates load. In builder’s parlance, a ship’s hull is a beam. A grade beam. Now take your grade beam and push it up with posts on each end.

          • tow??

          • Jim Crotty

            It is very unlikely they will allow the FITZ to sail back to the United States even with an escort or two. It appears that serious damage to the hull occurred to the ship in the collision and they have already put out a notice for bids for a hauler. Though no official decision has been made or if it has it has not been officially announced. We shall see.

        • James Hasik

          To which repair ship are you referring? The Navy hasn’t had a destroyer tender in decades. Really—don’t feign indignation without evidence.

        • Dean Woodlief

          The reason to patch it in dry dock is to not show what the hole really looked like and for the same reason they were not allowed to take pics of it before the patch!

          • good point. I would like to see the whole hole!

          • Jim Crotty

            No, actually the serious patch was placed there to ensure the ship was secure enough to be put in the drydock and settle on the blocks.

          • Randy

            No, you could drydock it with that damage. Some calcs on redistributing the weight on the blocks and some additional blocking, no problem. Done it with submarines.

      • Brian

        I believe the repair was done dockside. They had to dewater and reduce draft to even get her in the drydock.

      • mecengdvr

        It was done by contract divers from Phoenix International.

      • J_in_TX

        The patch was done pierside in Yokosuka before moving the ship to drydock.

  • HT1 J.

    Those sailors under the ship looking at the hull patch need life jackets on and the edge of that dropoff needs barricades and signage.

    • Bill

      You do realize that they are in a “dry” dock don’t you

      • Jeff

        I guess that explains the water in the bottom of it in photo 4.

      • HT1 J.

        See that water???? Look up the 5100 series….

    • roner

      I’m surprised you don’t think they should be wearing reflective belts, as well…

      • tpharwell

        You might not if you saw the yard’s insurance bill. A few months back, there was a fatal accident at a yard in South Korea that was building, I seem to recall, an oil rig. Two giant cranes shared the same work area. They collided with each other. One fell down. It landed on the lunch room. Seven workers were killed. No particular relevance to this circumstance. But it serves to point out that shipyards are dangerous places, and if one lacks situational awareness one might feel safe but not be. The man trying to shield his face from the sun while taking pictures with a video camera might be said to lack total situational awareness.

      • HT1 J.

        This ain’t the Army. But maybe they should be wearing safety vest…..hmmmm?!? (That was sarcasm by the way)

    • Randy

      I never wore a life jacket in my basin after a drydocking. As the Docking Officer, my duties were to inspect the blocks and the position of the ship on the blocks before I allowed anyone into the basin. Our team, CO, XO, Docking Officer, and CHENG always made that inspection. Once deamed safe, then we rigged the basin.

      • HT1 J.

        Did you see the pictures? There is a danger of falling into the water. I too as an HT worked in a few dry docks and occasionally had the opportunity to work in the basin. I also never had to wear a life jacket. But the drydocks I worked in AFDM’s and Kings Bay never had a danger of exposed water with no signage or proper barricades as is in the picture. I’m sure NAVOSH had a section that would cover fall prevention, barricading.

        • Randy

          Oh, but an AFDM did have a sonar dome depression in the end sections. The AFDM 8 in Guam did. As for the Oak Ridge in KB, no. I was on her for 3 years.

  • me109g4

    Are they really going to fix it? seems pretty messed up, and considering its age is it worth it?

    • john_koenig

      USS Stark (air to sea missile) and USS Cole (suicide boat attack) were damaged far worse and returned to service.

      • kmqf1031

        USS Roberts struck a mine in the Persian Gulf 1988, repaired and remained in service until 2015.

      • Jim Crotty

        In the case of the Cole I would not say it was damaged far worse, either physically or monetarily. The Cole damage was primarily to Engineering spaces and other below deck areas which those brutal is not nearly as expensive to repair as the massive electronics hit in addition of other damage the FITZ received.

    • J_in_TX

      I went aboard the Stark not too long after it went into the yard in Pascagoula. They cut the entire superstructure off down to the second deck, dropped a new prefabbed one in with cranes and welded it to the ship. So, yes, they are really going to fix it.

  • Jay R. Fowler

    Lifting her up is a few million. Might as well do it now

  • Patrick

    Outstanding job to the HT’s and DC’s who kept the ship afloat. Nobody does it better than hard piping Hull Techs.

    • Bill

      Don’t you want to give any credit to the other people on the damage control team that were not HT’s or DC’s?

    • C Robert

      As the saying goes – “When the ship is on fire, everyone is a damage controlman”. Same for flooding or any other major casualty.

  • David Feist

    Idiot officer of the deck.

    • Bill

      you assume plenty since there hasn’t been any investigation yet

      • Dave Henk

        Well the Officer of the Deck was in charge at the time. OOD has full control and is to maintain the situational awareness. It is his job to ensure the safety of the ship.
        So he is very likely correct. I also add they he had “help” as both the JOOD and the CIC watch Officer can see what is happening and can call the captain (as I’m sure were in the Standing Night Orders said OOD, JOOD, and CIC Watch Officer signed before assuming there watch.
        I see it’s also become official JAG Investigation so you can bet heads will roll. I stood bridge watches for nearly 9 years and have seen two OOD’s that lost situational awareness and failed to respond. In both cases either the JOOD (myself) or the CIC Watch Officer interceded before hand. Both OOD’s were “fired” and had to go for retraining from the beginning. I’m sure their Evaluations didn’t do so well so forget promotions.

  • ralphb513

    I find it less than amusing that a $2 billion US Navy warship can be essentially destroyed by a container ship. Perhaps Gruman should build robots to navigate our war ships that are built like merchant container ships. That way we can pay for the Navy through shipping charges to the Chinese. Go Navy!

  • Steve Richter

    Why is it taking so long to complete the investigation? Or at least get to the point where the public can be informed as to how the crew did not see the approaching cargo ship.

    • roner

      This just happened. The full investigation will take at least months.

      • Steve Richter

        what is there to investigate? You talk to everyone who was on duty. Get the sensor recordings. Question everyone a 2nd time. Issue report. What am I missing?

        • John Locke

          you’re missing the fact that the Navy doesn’t operate based on your personal expectations

        • C Robert

          If you want an idea how the investigation works dig up YouTube and watch National Geographic’s Seconds From Disaster. Especially the USS Forrestal episode. These investigations can get complex real fast.

    • Jim Crotty

      The JAG Manual Investigation is complete. The Admiral heading up that Investigation is back in Hawaii and has assumed command of the command he was headed to before being diverted to Japan to lead the Investigation. But now that completed investigation must work it’s way up the chain of command for each to review and concur/comment. With the loss of life in this collision, that investigation will most likely have to be approved by the Secretary of the Navy or perhaps even the Secretary of Defense. After it has been approved at the highest level, the families of those Sailors who lost their life will be briefed on the report, that to be followed by a briefing to the lawmakers. Only after that will the results be made public and I suspect that will be done with a detailed briefing on camera. If the actual report is released to the public it will likely be heavily redacted. We shall see.

  • Bob

    Thanks for the chuckle, 716. I worked at Long Beach Naval Shipyard for two decades and it was standard practice for us to have to fix all the mistakes done at Ingalls before ships could safely set sail. The most egregious example was one of the LHAs that ran into a storm in the North Atlantic. Weld seams burst open around the starboard bow section during a big storm and the crew had to scramble to save the ship. Our workers peeled back the insulation in the damaged bow section and discovered that only about ten percent of the required welding had actually been done before painters painted over it, laggers covered it with fiberglass and inspectors signed the whole thing off.

    • publius_maximus_III

      ADM Hyman Rickover, father of the nuclear navy, supposedly once said, “Anything manufactured is junk.”

  • Paul D. Doucette

    Great job getting her to safety. No matter how it was done. Train, Drill, Train. Repeat often.

  • R’ Yitzchak M

    Even some small craft have Collision Avoidance System with all this electronic gear onboard.. how this could be possible?

    • Steve Richter

      And how does the Navy not yet know what happened?

      • R’ Yitzchak M

        Perhaps like “story” goes with damn lighthouse that failed to move aside in time.. ?

        • John Locke

          you do know that is a hoax, right?

          • R’ Yitzchak M

            It was old joke.. “HMLH to the incoming US Navy ship please turn to the starboard..

            A: we are the US Navy AC task force You move or else..

            HMLH : Ok proceed at will but jus to be known we cautioned you.. we are Her Majesty’s Light House.

            I butchered that joke but as you can imagine that testosterone driven conversation was going for a while.. until common sense prevailed ( I hope..)

      • old guy

        It’s called,”Asleep at the switch.”

      • Jim Crotty

        The Navy does know as the JAG Manual Investigation Report is complete but the Report with attachments (evidence) is working it’s way up the chain of command for Review and Concurrence/Comment before it is finalized. With the loss of life in this collision I suspect it will have to go to the Secretary of the Navy or maybe even the Secretary of Defense for final approval. After that, the families of the Sailors lost will be briefed personally, and then lawmakers will get a detailed briefing and after that the results will be released to the public. Though I doubt the Report itself will be released with a detailed on camera briefing being more likely. And if the report is released serious portions will be redacted. We shall see in a couple months.

  • KenPrescott

    Just goes to show that the Fitzgerald’s crew are real sailors to get her safely to port after all that.

  • Paul Antonio

    BZ to the crew of USS FITZGERALD for their efforts to fight the ship. Damage Control training is treated by many as a necessary evil, and not always taken with the seriousness it deserves. Fortunately, routine drills to combat flooding, fire and other emergencies ingrained primary and secondary actions. I guarantee that the crews of FITZGERALD and the other ships in Yokosuka have a newfound appreciation for DC.

    • Ponyexpress

      Somebody (ies) really effed up, very very big time.
      Emergency response was commendable, but collision inexcusable sorry.
      Either a gazillion pieces of navigation and sensing equipment failed or somebody(ies ) was not paying attention

  • RCS

    See the rust? It was accomplished alongside a pier by divers. BZ for a superb job by them.

  • Pseudocool

    I’d wager they fix her up enough to get her state side, then put her in for final repairs and a SLEP for her scheduled updates early. That would make sense, then again, this *IS* the Navy we’re talking about, and we don’t always make sense. LOL Without a doubt however, BZ to the ships crew for getting her back into port under her own power, I saw that video, and that was amazing with the draft and list she had even in port. And BZ to the divers and yard crew for the quick patch to get her into dry dock for the final patch that you see here. All hands involved deserve a good cold beer on the skipper IMHO 🙂

  • publius_maximus_III

    Seems crazy not to make hull repairs at a world class facility. Now if the issue is with the internal equipment, things we’d rather not share the details of with others, then by all means bring her back stateside for the repairs.

    • mecengdvr

      There is already a US ship that is scheduled to be in that dock in a few weeks. That’s why repairs can’t be completed there. She will either get patched up enough to make the voyage or put on a heavy lift ship for return to the US

      • publius_maximus_III

        Thanks for the info, mecengdvr. Gotta believe if she can somehow make it back across the wide Pacific under her own steam (gas?) it would be far less expensive than chartering something like the behemoth they piggybacked the USS Cole on.

        • OldSailor

          The decision of whether she makes the trip under her own power or piggybacked will be made after a determination is made about how badly her hull strength was compromised. The open ocean under even the best of conditions can be rough on ships. If hull strength is compromised too much she may flex too much and break in two.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Makes sense, Ancient Mariner.

            That name sure seems to be a Jonah for marine vessels — there’s this USS Fitzgerald, the Edmund Fitzgerald of Great Lakes fame, and the JFK-skippered (John Fitzgerald Kennedy) plywood speedboat, the PT-109, cut in two by an IJN destroyer in a WW-II battle.

        • mecengdvr

          It’s not about cost, more about preventing another accident with a ship with a locked shaft.

  • timothy price

    “Old Tinfoil Sides”

    • J_in_TX

      There’s no can like a Tin Can.

  • four11posse

    I patched it up with 6 rolls of FlexSeal. Good to go.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Is that like the 600 MPH tape (speed tape) used for quick and dirty aircraft skin repairs?

      • old guy

        Same stuff.

  • Doug Shartzer

    Sell it to Japan at a dicounted rate and tell them to deduct the money from what we owe them. Let the people in Bath, Maine crank out a newer Zumwalt. Maybe the new technologies will help them avoid being struck by a commercial vessel in the future.

  • Queens Lawyer

    “Hull is twisted”. Im calling it: she’s a gonner. Sad. Expensive.
    Also: condolences to the families, friends, colleagues, ship mates and loved ones of the 7 who died.
    Once again the price of freedom was not free. It was paid for with the lives of patriots and martyrs.

  • DaSaint

    My bet is BIW. If past is prologue, (Stark and Roberts), she’ll return to her builders.
    The Blue Marlin is in that part of the world. Wouldn’t be surprised if she’s already been hired for the job.

  • DaSaint

    Apologies for the inadvertent omission. The Cole was transported by the Blue Marlin back to Ingalls. So that’s 3 for 3.

  • Lanzagas

    Unbelievable that such a modern ship would collision at this day and age. I wonder if the technology separates crew so much from reality that they are more xbox crew than seamen.

    • zid

      Something similar happened back in 2012 in the same kind of area. A busy shipping lane that is like a five mile wide highway with a one mile median in the center. The odds are the crew of the Fitzgerald was focusing so much on not hitting ships in front of them they weren’t able to watch every direction and didn’t see the Crystal until it was too late.

      • old guy

        Sorry, not correct. We have a version of HYCANS (High Speed Collision Avoidance and Navigation System) on all ships. Human error,

    • Ken Rothwell

      Just wondering if the Fitz was not able to maneuver out of the way fast enough due to underwater hazards. Could they have been in danger of hitting rocks or other underwater obstacles if they made severe turns? Or were they in clear water?

      • Jim Crotty

        No, they were miles out to sea and had no such restrictions. Now other contacts in the area, which we don’t know about, could have been responsible for their total loss of situation awareness.

  • Brian Bertha

    IMHO there has still not been any satisfactory explanation of how this could have happened What arent they telling us

  • old guy

    It’s going to be fascinating when we find out how a 28 knot ship gets hit by a 6 knot ship,

    • Jim Crotty

      Well your facts are incorrect since the Crystal was reported via the AIS track to be going at about 18 knots. And we know nothing about the Fitzgerald regarding speed or status of engines/shafts which would impact available speed. We shall find all of that out in a couple months.

  • Ponyexpress

    I’d still want to know how the collision happened?
    As an old Navy guy, I am flummoxed, and suspicious about the causes of the collision.
    Makes no logical sense. unless all on watch were asleep, and that seems impossible.
    With all the devices and sensors aboard, I think we need an explanation

    • Jim Crotty

      It will likely be a series of human errors which for whatever reason led to the total loss of situational awareness and likely coupled with incompetence. We shall see.

      • Ponyexpress

        That would be the only reason I could imagine, but then why is it taking so long?
        It boggles my mind, that the watch in CIC would / could ignore the big bogey on their starboard quarter and still come to the right in front of the behemoth. And the captain was asleep? Yikes
        Something smells fishy

        • Jim Crotty

          The JAG Investigation is complete. The Admiral leading the investigation has returned to Hawaii and has taken command of the command he was about to before being temporarily reassigned to Japan for the investigation assignment. But the report now needs to work it’s way up the chain of command with each commander reviewing and concurring/commenting. With the loss of life, I think this report will have to go up at least to the Secretary of the Navy and perhaps even to the Secretary of Defense for final approval. After that, the families of those lost will be individually briefed, then the lawmakers will be briefed and finally they will release the results to the public. I doubt the report itself will be immediately release but if it is then it is likely to be heavily redacted. More likely, the Navy Brass will give an on camera detailed briefing of the report. We shall see and my guess is middle to late October.

          • Ponyexpress

            Excellent response, but sad, the tragedy, is now political.
            As an old Navy guy, I’d like see ;
            “So(s) and so fucked up By …
            The penalty for those responsible will be…
            Silly me

          • Jim Crotty

            The report and briefing will likely advise the public of those referred to disciplinary action (Court-Martial, Flag Officer Mast and/or Captain’s Mast) and although the results of Flag Mast and Captain’s Mast are seldom released, the results of Court-Martial are public record. I don’t see this being political at all and I confident the JAG Manual Investigation was thorough and detailed as was the Report itself which among other things will include disciplinary and heroic award recommendations. We shall see.

          • Ponyexpress

            You sound like you still might be in.
            As a civilian now, I would prefer plain old English.
            Who is responsible, why, and what the consequences are.
            What broke down.?
            Is the CO still the Co?

          • Jim Crotty

            No, I’m long retired though for about 12 years after that I had a connection with the Navy through contractor work. But for the last 12 years my only connection is visits to the local Navy base and online chats with fellow shipmates. It’s the JAG Manual Investigation Report that you want to get your hands on as that will provide detailed information on what happened (or didn’t) minute by minute up until collision plus the efforts taken by the crew to save the ship post-collision. That Report is done and is currently working it’s way up the chain of command and though frustrating for most of us, it does take time for the report to be thoroughly reviewed. My guess, and that’s all it is, is that a detailed briefing to the public will likely happen in maybe late October and until then we all wait. A lot broke down and the report will pinpoint all of that in a very detailed way. The CO in this case has been “temporarily” relieved of command in order to concentrate on his medical recovery. The medical relief will work for now and I suspect, though not publicly announced, that the Officer of the Deck has also been relieved. If the CO were not seriously injured, he likely would have been relieved at this time for loss of confidence to command. When the report has been given it’s final approval one action almost certain is that the CO’s relief will be changed to “for cause.” The CO, the OOD, the JOOD, the CICWO and numerous others are likely in jeopardy of being punished via Courts-martial, Flag Officer Mast or Captain’s Mast. The public will be informed of the specific punishment if found guilty at Courts-martial but the same is unlikely for those found guilty at Flag or Captain’s Mast, though some of it may find it’s way to the public regardless.

          • Ponyexpress

            I Agree with your analysis, but, as you and I know instinctively, the “incidents” that caused the human failure , I suspect, will be redacted from any public report, as it will be too outrageous to be acceptable to the Navy.
            A bit like contracting an STD and having it announced on the PA system.
            My cynical guess.

          • Jim Crotty

            We shall see. I think the Navy with the loss of 7 Sailors will be under serious pressure to be forthcoming with exactly what happened out there that night, as difficult as that might be to expose.

        • Joe Mamaluc

          Trojan Horse Terrorist?

  • waveshaper1

    Here’s the latest update from the Pentagon (7:43 AM/21 July 17) “Initial investigation blames Navy for USS Fitzgerald collision:
    Excerpt from article;
    – Preliminary findings in the investigation into the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine cargo ship off the coast of Japan in June suggest the accident was caused by multiple errors by the Fitzgerald’s crew and a failure to take action in the minutes leading to the collision, according to two defense officials.
    – “They did nothing until the last second,” one official said. “A slew of things went wrong.” A second official said the crash “will wind up being our (the US Navy’s) fault.”
    – The initial findings are just the first stage in what is expected to be a lengthy inquiry.
    Both officials said the initial investigation found that the Fitzgerald crew failed to understand and acknowledge the cargo ship was approaching and failed to take any action necessary to avoid the collision. It’s also not clear if the crew ever called the commanding officer to come to the bridge.
    – The officials say investigators are also looking at the possibility that the ship was traveling at a higher speed than expected in order to reach a location it was due to arrive at the next next day.
    – The preliminary findings will now be reviewed by the 7th Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin even as the investigation continues and they are likely to lead to recommendations about potential punishment.

    • Jim Crotty

      That is not an update from the Pentagon. That is a report accredited to anonymous sources with supposed knowledge of the JAG Manual Investigation Report. Whether they do or not is uncertain. We shall see.

  • Steve Richter

    do naval ships have alarms that sound when the ship is in imminent danger? Kind of like the alarms that go off on a passenger jet plane when the computers determine the plane is going to crash?

  • old guy

    A captain i knew brought his battleship into Norfolk, . He was retiring. The succeeding Captain
    n ran it aground on departure. Je was out of the Navy before my friend.