A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2017 Jun 26, 12:43 -0700
The article says that the captain of ACX Crystal claims that
"The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m."
On this claim we have very good evidence that the captain's recollection is wrong, or he is deliberately mis-stating the facts. The AIS tracks show no diversion to starboard until the time of the collision, which apparently occurred at about 1:29 a.m. The dramatic course change to starboard is accompanied by a significant decrease in speed at that time. There is, in fact, a modest change in course to port that occurs around 1:20 a.m. from a course of roughly 086° to 070°. This is a leisurely course change, consistent with an autopilot event, and it appears to be normal for commercial traffic heading to Yokohama in this area. The sudden course change to starboard and reduction in speed already underway at 1:30 is consistent with the collision.