• NavySubNuke

    Yikes – kind of terrifying that they never actually secured the watertight door to the berthing area. I completely understand waiting as long as possible to secure it but the way this reads they waited a little too long. It worked out fine in the end because they were able to get it under control but yikes.

    • NEC338x

      Once water is coming through the scuttle, it was going to take a few gorillas to close it.

      • Ed L

        Amen to that.

  • NEC338x

    “0800 FITZ switches to paper charts due to loss of navigation systems.”

    Good to know that paper, plex, and grease pencil remains a fall back option. I know that making everything digital saves space and shortens learning curves, but old school always works.

  • publius_maximus_III

    I will say this: floating lockers and mattresses being displaced from their original locations and clogging the narrow passages on this destroyer probably cost lives. Unlike on larger capital ships, space is at a premium aboard a destroyer as can be seen from the photos. Based on this report, I recommend the following actions be taken on all destroyers and similar vessels:

    (1) All lockers and similar equipment in berthing and lounge spaces below the waterline should be secured to decks and bulkheads in a manner that would prevent their liberation during flooding.
    (2) All mattresses in those spaces be retrofit with ties that will allow them to be secured on all four corners to the metal racks.

    We can’t bring those seven sailors back, but we can make sure they did not die in vain.

    O hear us when we cry to thee,
    For those in peril on the sea.

    • Scott Donley

      The lockers are secured to the deck and bulkheads. The force of the impact “liberated” them.

  • LT Mark A. Wood, USN, (Ret)

    I was EMO on the commissioning crew on Fitz. My retirement ceremony was on her flight deck. Having served on a previous destroyer, including during Desert Storm, I had a great deal of OOD experience. I realized as soon as we left the building yard how green and/or rusty the bridge teams were, and it was a steep learning curve for all. Every time I went up to take the deck, I knew this could be the day my career effectively ends. As the admiral said, this should never happen, but it does. I had the advantage of being a chief, a warrant officer, and an LDO, unlike the JO’s I imagine were on watch. I believe this is absolutely a training and discipline issue, that I hope the Navy addresses in an aggressive, fleet wide manner. If the ship hadn’t been at mod Zebra, they may have lost her. My heart goes out to the families of the lost crew members. Very Respectfully, M. Wood.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Dad was a mustang, too. Not a line officer with the star above his stripes like you, but with the winged caduceus of the Hospital Services Corps. He started at the beginning of WW-II as a Seaman Apprentice right out of boot camp and by the end of the war, had made Chief. He got out for about a year, then re-enlisted in the Reserves as a commissioned officer, and by time he left the USNR 25 years later he retired as a full commander, O-5. There are definitely things you and he earned on your way up the ladder that you didn’t learn any other way. Chiefs are the backbone of the Navy. Thank you for your service.

    • Steve Richter

      are there any alarms that sound when another ship is approaching on a collision course?