Saturday, August 26, 2017

About Those US Navy Collisions

Here is an essay about the US Navy's recent collision-prone history:

A few comments:

1. Radar is not an acceptable substitute for trained, alert lookouts.

2. On my ships, when sailing in restricted/crowded waters we would "set the maneuvering watch"; meaning the most experienced people would be at the helm, stationed as lookouts, manning the engines, etc. This apparently was not the case during any of the recent collisions. If it was, then the Navy is severely lacking in experienced shiphandlers.

3. Taking a day or two off to review procedures (a "stand-down") does not make up for years of neglect. Not even close.

4. The captain always is responsible. Running aground or colliding with another ship is cause for dismissal. And it should be. Nothing is more important (or basic) than the ability to take your ship safely from Point A to Point B.

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