6 thoughts on “Coast Guard Investigating USS Fitzgerald Collision

  1. Stands to reason – the US Coast Guard has experience in this type of investigation and I think there would be more faith in an investigation with the USCG involved than just the navy. It however sounds like several agencies will be involved, very high profile lots of people watching.

    gCaptain has a nice rip on the collision by someone with an unlimited masters license. Bit long but I recommend it.

    The USS Fitzgerald Is At Fault. This Is Why.

  2. A question maybe one of your readers know, what is the radar signature of the Fitzgerald? Would the Fitzgerald be easy for the freighter to see on radar? I would think the navy would be working to reduce the radar signature of their vessels to make them survive in combat better, that could work against the Fitzgerald being easy to see. But the freighter should have been a solid return and with the AIS on, I would think difficult to miss.


    • USS Fitzgerald should have shown up well on the container ship’s radar. It isn’t a very stealthy ship. While I suspect Fitzgerald did not have its AIS on, If it had been on, we would have probably seen a diagram of their track

      It appears the container ship was overtaking. If true, the destroyer was the “stand on vessel.”

      • Thanks for the clarification – yes if the container ship was over taking then the Fitzgerald would have been stand on – but still you are not supposed to hit the other ship – I vote for both bridges & captains being in serious trouble

        Was teaching a class over the weekend and this came up a bit and the different ways things could happen that change which vessel is stand on

        Have a friend that was stationed on a destroyer and on the bridge and in the command center and he pointed out the factor of fatigue and that navy ships run with the AIS off most of the time

        keep up the good work

  3. If you haven’t already, you should review the AIS track of the ACX Crystal. Very bizarre track for an open ocean transit. Makes me think something was amiss on the Crystal.

    • I don’t think there is a lot of profit in conjecture before the result of the investigations are published (lots available at gCaptain) but there has been a lot of speculation based on the track that the container ship was on iron mike at the time of the collision and that it remained on auto pilot for some time after the collision including the time it freed itself and apparently resumed base course. It appears they did not report the collision until an hour after it occurred.

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