Maritime-Executive and FleetMon report a curious case in the Caribbean. Looks like, perhaps the Venezuelan Navy attempted an act of piracy against an ice strengthened cruise ship, RCGS Resolute with 35 crewmen aboard, and lost a ship as a result. Warning shots were fired and the Venezuelan vessel attempted to shoulder the cruise ships.
Also this is the second Navantia built warship to sink as a result of collision. The Venezuelan patrol vessel, NAIGUATA, was commissioned in 2011 and is about the size of a Coast Guard 270 foot WMEC, 1720 tons full load, 79.9 m (262 ft) in length. Navantia is also teamed with Bath Ironworks in the US Navy’s FFG(X) Competition.
The Venezuelans picked the wrong ship to ram. An 8000+ ton ice-strengthened ship. Like ramming a Mack truck with a Prius.
Appears what happened was that the Venezuelan was attempting to shoulder, but instead of holding position relative to the cruise ship, it slid forward, as it slid by the cruise ship’s bow, the bulbous bow probably racked the side of the patrol vessel, probably opening more than one compartment to the sea.
Someone didn’t do their homework. Poor seamanship by the Venezuelans, leading to the loss of a pretty good OPV. Glad no crew were lost in this avoidable incident.
They probably had not set the highest level of water tight integrity. Zebra in US naval services. That is probably something you want to do before you start playing bumper boats. Bad tactic anyway. .
Eaglespeak has a link reporting that the Venezuelans have now jumped to the conclusion that the inflatable boats the ship carried for shore excursions and exploration were a sign that they were carrying commandos.
They had been saying from the beginning that she was carrying mercenaries.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes and looks like Venezuela picked the wrong ship to ram
A heavily-edited video of the incident has been released by the Venezuelan Navy:
Can’t really say much based on that, except that the collision probably happened at low speed as the patrol boat seems to be just floating in front of the cruise ship.
A technical investigation report has been released by Portugal (flag state of RCGS Resolute). It’s unfortunately only in Portuguese, but I managed to read it with Google Translate.
Note the graph on page 13 where the report discusses the possibility that the collision may have not been intentional, but caused by suction between the two vessels as the faster patrol boat passed the bigger cruise ship. Unfortunately they were not able to get a statement from Venezuela to confirm this. However, the report concluded that in the end the Venezuelan Navy (Coast Guard) is to blame as their actions directly led to the sinking of the patrol boat.
Click to access 2020-065_RCGS_RESOLUTE.pdf
Another telling of the story, with a few more details. https://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-law-of-gross-tonnage-applies.html
I wish whoever wrote that post didn’t compare gross tonnage and displacement…
Retired US Navy officer. Relatively few people appreciate all the different forms of displacement/tonnage.
“Grandma, Grandpa, where did you go on your cruise?”
“We were on the Resolute, so wherever the f*** we wanted.”
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