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Sat Jan 12, 2019, 03:41 AM

Ship owners to pay U.S. government for Fitzgerald collision

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/01/11/ship-owners-to-pay-us-government-for-fitzgerald-collision/

Ship owners to pay U.S. government for Fitzgerald collision

By: Geoff Ziezulewicz    14 hours ago

The owners of a massive merchant vessel that collided with the warship Fitzgerald in 2017, drowning seven sailors, have agreed to pay the U.S. government nearly $27 million as part of a settlement agreement.
(snip)

As is common in these agreements, the settlement notes that the deal is not an admission of “any liability, negligence, breach of duty, or wrongdoing” by the parties.

Attorneys with the Japan-based law firm Yoshida and Partners, which signed the agreement on behalf of the Crystal’s owners, did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
(snip)

An internal Navy investigation into the collision, known as a “dual-purpose investigation,” has not been made public because Navy officials say it was created in part to prepare for potential litigation. But that probe cites failures by the Crystal’s second officer as one of the root causes of the collision.

The merchant vessel was on autopilot “until just prior to impact,” the report states, and the Crystal did not sound at least five short blasts or make any attempt to hail the warship via radio.
(snip)

The unidentified second officer “failed to maintain a proper lookout so as to make a full appraisal of the risk of collision” with the Fitzgerald, according to the report. The Crystal officer “failed to determine if a risk of collision with FTZ existed by using all available means,” according to the report, and “he failed to appreciate, by radar or visual observation, that FTZ was on a constant bearing with a decreasing range, which observation would have led him to deem risk of collision to exist.” It also states the officer “failed to take action to avoid collision once it became apparent that action by FTZ alone would not avoid the collision.”

“In addition, the Second Officer failed to follow CRYSTAL’s Standing Orders by failing to call the Master when FTZ’s CPA was within one nautical mile and failing to take frequent and accurate compass bearings of FTZ to detect the risk of collision,” according to the internal Navy investigation.

Whether the settlement money will actually go to Fitz repairs remains unclear but it’s a small sum compared to what the Navy is paying to mend the 25-year-old warship. The Navy has awarded roughly $533 million in contracts and modifications for repair and modernization of the ship since September 2017, according to Pentagon contract listings.
(snip)

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Reply Ship owners to pay U.S. government for Fitzgerald collision (Original post)
nitpicker Saturday OP
rampartc Saturday #1
JayhawkSD Saturday #2

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 07:22 AM

1. i don't doubt that watchkeeping on the crystal was sloppy

but the fitz' ood and watch team must have been extremely inattentive as well. that navy "internal investigation" should have had the form of a court martial, and resulted in the end of the captain's and ood's careers.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2019, 10:33 AM

2. Whoever wrote that article is something of an idiot.

"Whether the settlement money will actually go to Fitz repairs remains unclear..."

Apparently the fool has never heard of the concept that money is fungible. The money will go to the US government, and the writer says in the same sentence that the US government is repairing the ship at a cost far greater than the amount of money in question. Whether the specific coinage tendered by the shipowners is handed to the repair yard or some other coinage is irrelevant.

And I certainly agree with rampartc that the Fitzgerald was highly remiss. I believe the captain was relieved from command, and disciplinary action was taken with respect to several subordinates.

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