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    Re: USS Fitzgerald collision with container ship
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2017 Jun 17, 19:03 -0400

    On 6/17/2017 4:43 AM, Stephen N.G. Davies wrote:
    >  From the inferred angle of impact, it would appear to be a nice
    > judgment to decide from any radar logs as between the Fitzgerald being
    > the give way vessel (if to starboard red appear, ’tis your duty to keep
    > clear) and the give way vessel being the container ship because it was
    > in the overtaking arc. If one vessel was making that call using exactly
    > calculated angles on the radar and the other was making it by visual
    > judgment (lazy) and was on autopilot (even lazier, but quite probable
    > with OMBO), then one can see how the collision may have come about.
    
    I'm reminded of an old joke. An automobile T-boned a steam roller. When
    asked how it happened, the motorist replied, "I was headed northbound at
    20 mph when the steamroller suddenly darted out from a side street."
    
    Not clear what judgement is necessary except nit picking in the courts
    after the fact. No matter whether a crossing or overtaking situation
    they were both at fault.
    
    COLREGS are quite clear that you are not sure if you are in an
    overtaking situation, assume you are. If a perceived crossing situation
    the Fitzgerald was the give way vessel and should take early and
    substantial action to avoid close quarters. If she does not, the
    responsibility is on the stand on vessel to take early and substantial
    action to avoid close quarters. It matters little whether you believe
    you are burdened or privileged, the mandate is the same. Avoid close
    quarters or potential collision situations.
    
    Given the cargo ship is less maneuverable than the destroyer and neither
    are runabouts or PWCs, but they were both well aware of their vessels
    capabilities long before the collision, and the time/distance required
    to take make a clear and substantial change of course. Unless they
    decided to play "chicken" with a 500+' ship and a 700+' ship, decisions
    were deeply flawed.
    
    As a sidebar, if the traffic was that congested, why was the cargo ship
    making 16 knots?
    

       
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