(June 24)There are still many questions as to how the U.S. destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald managed to be hit by the bow of a cargo vessel off the Japan coast.
|The collision was deadly for the crew of the destroyer as seven sailors were killed and other crew members were injured.|
There should have been lookouts on watch on the port, starboard and stern of the destroyer Fitzgerald — sailors scanning the horizon with binoculars and reporting by headsets to the destroyer’s bridge. At 1:30 a.m. last Saturday, off the coast of Japan south of Tokyo, they could hardly have failed to see the 730-foot freighter ACX Crystal, stacked with more than 1,000 containers, as it closed in.
An analysis of that data by the private data analytics company Savi shows that the Crystal slowed down after the collision but continued sailing on its course for about 36 minutes, at which point it turned around and headed back to the collision site. The crash was officially reported at 2:20 a.m. local time, nearly an hour after the fact.Steffan Warkins, an information technology security consultant says that this shows that the ship must have been on autopilot when the crash happened. The Crystal radioed the Japanese Coast Guard almost half an hour after the accident showing that nobody was on the bridge at the time of the accident. However, one would think that at least some of the 20 crew members would be wakened by the force of the collision.
UPDATE| Another article with further information can be read here.