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AKscooter 06-22-2013 08:17 AM

US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Here is the final disposition of the inquiry of the Philippine reef incident.

USS Guardian grounding blamed on officers, gear
By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
3:31 am | Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

In a photo released by the U.S. Navy, the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian sits aground in this Jan. 22, 2013 file photo on the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Lack of leadership and faulty navigational equipment led to the grounding of the former USS Guardian on the Tubbataha Reef last January, which could have been prevented, according to the official report of the United States Navy.

“The USS Guardian leadership and watch teams failed to adhere to prudent, safe, and sound navigation principles which would have alerted them to approaching dangers with sufficient time to take mitigating action,” concluded Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, in the 160-page document.

“The watch team’s observations of visual cues in the hours leading up to the grounding, combined with electronic cues and alarms, should have triggered immediate steps to resolve warnings and reconcile discrepancies,” Haney said.

The US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office on Friday released a press statement summarizing the US Navy’s report on the results of its investigation into the minesweeper’s grounding on Tubbataha Reef.

A link to the summary version of the report was also available online.

Haney described as a “tragic mishap” the Jan. 17 grounding of the US vessel in the World Heritage Site, which destroyed more than 2,000 square meters of prized corals that would take years to rehabilitate.



Preventable mishap

“This tragic mishap was wholly preventable and was the product of poor voyage planning, poor execution, and unfortunate circumstances. This investigation uncovers no single point of failure; instead, there were numerous links in the error chain leading up to the grounding—had any one of which been appropriately addressed, the grounding would have been prevented,” Haney said.

More punishments



The report said that “further administrative action is under consideration” against the commanding general of the ex-Guardian, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Rice, the executive officer and navigator Lt. Daniel Tyler, the assistant navigator and the officer of the deck at the time of the grounding.

The four Navy officers were relieved of their duties on April 3 by Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, commander of the Expeditionary Strike Group 7, the statement said.

The Philippine government had said the US will be fined for the damage caused by the grounding of its military ship on the reef.

The USS Guardian was a minesweeper ship that served the US Navy for 23 years.

It had just completed a port call in Subic Bay and was on its way to Indonesia and then was to proceed to Timor-Leste to participate in a training exercise when the grounding occurred, the US Pacific Fleet statement said.

The ship was eventually dismantled since this was the only way to remove it from the reef and prevent further damage to the corals.

It was decommissioned and stricken from the naval registry.

Heroic effort

Haney, in his report, also praised the crew for its “heroic efforts to save their ship.”

He said that the actions of the engineering and damage control teams “were instrumental in reinforcing the ship’s hull integrity despite multiple breaches.”

Haney also “commended the Boat Coxswains, Damage Control Assistant, and the Navy rescue swimmers who all ensured the safe evacuation of the crew without significant injuries,” the statement said.

mad_machine 06-22-2013 08:51 AM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
My father being retired navy thought that was how it was going to go as far as who got relieved of duty.

Seaduction 06-22-2013 09:45 AM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Oh.... So it won't happen again? Because now they're using "prudent, safe and sound" navigation practices; whereas the incident resulted from "poor voyage planning, poor execution, and unfortunate circumstances." Hmmm... wonder what the real issue was...

fryewe 06-22-2013 09:48 AM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Haven't read the entire report but have read enough to know that this is a much broader problem than what happened on the bridge of Guardian prior to its grounding.

Every ship has a schedule of inspections that they are required to pass at regular intervals. In addition every ship has a supervising squadron or group authority whose responsibility it is to frequently monitor the operations of the ship.

The report shows complacence and failure to practice time tested piloting and navigation practices and complete reliance on electronic chart plotters and complete faith in the plotter even when their eyeballs told them the ship was not in its expected position based on observation of a navigation light!

Outside responsible agencies obviously did not properly evaluate navigation practices on this ship. How many other ships are relying exclusively on chart plotters and are not properly trained on piloting and navigation and have not been evaluated as substandard by inspection and oversight agencies?

Perhaps manpower and budget cuts have finally stretched group and squadron staffs to the point where they can no longer adequately inspect our ships. I'll wager this accident report doesn't address this factor. I hope flag officers are discussing it and raising hell about it if warranted.

mad_machine 06-22-2013 10:08 AM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
I have read that since the introduction of chart plotters and GPS to pleasure boating.. groundings, sinkings, and collisions with underwater hazards has gone up tremendously. It all has to do with how pricise these tools are and how inprecisesly we know where things on the bottom are.

Using a paper chart that just shows a "wreck" most sailors will give it a wide berth. If you should a wreck on GPS.. they will cut it closer as the machine assures them that it is at X coordinents

I am betting the Guardian was guilty of doing the same

GMFL 06-22-2013 11:24 AM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mad_machine (Post 1047834)
I have read that since the introduction of chart plotters and GPS to pleasure boating.. groundings, sinkings, and collisions with underwater hazards has gone up tremendously.

Just curious, do you have a link or source for that? Was there a study?

TropicCat 06-22-2013 01:48 PM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Guys you have to love this. Give the ship incorrect charts rendering computer navigation useless and then cashier the bridge officers for relying on them. That ship probably navigated a million miles without incident, until they loaded that last chart into their plotter. Suddenly everyone is incompetent.

fryewe 06-22-2013 01:57 PM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TropicCat (Post 1047914)
That ship probably navigated a million miles without incident, until they loaded that last chart into their plotter. Suddenly everyone is incompetent.

Nope. They didn't navigate a million miles without incident. They wandered however many miles they had steamed with Serendipity on their shoulder looking after them but when they had to navigate - they failed. They were likely "grudging in the performance of their duties" as Nimitz once famously said.

TropicCat 06-22-2013 02:15 PM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fryewe (Post 1047916)
Nope. They didn't navigate a million miles without incident.

Did you think this ship was newly built and had but a single voyage under her keel? Or did you mean that you have a list of incidents over the 23 year life of this ship? Or incidents in the commander's history? Where exactly did you pull your ship's history from?

SloopJonB 06-22-2013 02:25 PM

Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mad_machine (Post 1047791)
My father being retired navy thought that was how it was going to go as far as who got relieved of duty.

Not exactly clairvoyance - it's always the same people in those kind of incidents.


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