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  #21  
Old 01-20-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Superior Sailor View Post
I was taught never to rely on one piece of information , use charts, depthfinder, radar, sonar, Chart plotter, and what ever else you have. A pilot is nice!...Dale
You're right, of course, but if you look carefully at the photos showing the ship lying perpendicular to the reef you'll notice the bow on the coral and the stern in dark blue water. There could be 200-300 feet of water under the stern. My guess is the depth sounder wasn't much help -- one minute you're in hundreds of feet of water and within fifty yards or so you're stuck on the coral. One of the thing that makes reefs like this great dive spots are the reef walls -- which are often near vertical and rise hundreds of feet from the sea bed to within a foot or so of the surface. At 15 knots the ship does 100 yards in 10-12 seconds, so by the time the depth alarm goes off (even with forward looking sonar) you're already on the reef.

Radar doesn't help either -- can't see under water and many of reefs in this part of the world never dry out. The wave line / break might show up on radar, but in relatively calm conditions you might mistake the break for normal ocean swell.

Real long range sonar (not just a forward looking depth sounder)?? Don't know if minesweepers are rigged with sonar that can see something 1/4 to 1/2mile ahead.

Visual watchkeeping might have been the only way to have seen this coming, but reef breaks are very hard to see when viewed from the seaward side especially if it was a relatively calm night with little moon (waxing crescent ~ 1/4 moon on that day).

And remember 100 yards of travel every 10-12 seconds....doesn't leave much reaction time. Say you're the lookout stationed on the wing of the bridge. You're responsible for maintaining a look out in a 180 deg arc on your side of the boat. You've panned astern and you begin a pan forward -- you think you see something a couple of hundred yards ahead, but you're not sure. You take a second look, adjust the zoom on your binoculars, refocus, think about it for a few seconds and reach for the intercom. "OD, I think I see something....not sure if it's anything.....". OOD says, "OK, I'll be right out. Puts down his coffee cup and walks to the bridge wing. Could 30 or 40 seconds have elapsed and the ship traveled 300-400 yards? Sure.

A career ender? Usually that's the case, but let's see what happens at the inquest. A faulty electronic chart is possibly a big mitigating factor. My guess is that a lot will depend on how far off the chart was. If it was a few hundred yards off, the skipper is toast. If it was several miles out, and if this was a reef with nothing showing above the water....well that might be another matter althogether.
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

Just a WAG here, but it may have gone like this... (totally fictional)

USS Minesponge, South Pacific Exiting Subic Bay, P.I. 0300

Ship's heading: 090

OOW: "Helmsman, come right to 080 degrees"

Helmsman: (Realizing the OOW would not want to turn a full circle while transiting a reef and meant to say come LEFT) "Orders to the helm, sir...."

OOW: (One year out of USNA, already picturing the star on his collar) "I SAID, come right to 080 degrees"

Helmsman: (Cutting a glance to BMOW) "Orders to the helm, sir!"

OOW: (now extremely irritated that he is being questioned by an enlisted man) "COME RIGHT, SAILOR, TO 080! THAT IS AN ORDER!"

Helmsman: "080 degrees, aye. Coming RIGHT to 080 degrees, SIR"


OOW: "YOU'RE COMING ABOUT! YOU'RE COMING ABO..."

Helmsman: "Aye sir. Coming about as ordered to RIGHT to 080 DEGREES, SIR!"


(ship's alarm) Doo-Doo-Doot! Doo-Doo-Doot! ALL HANDS, BRACE FOR COLLISION. ALL HANDS, BRACE FOR COLLISION.

CAAAAHHHH-----RRUUUNNNCCCCHHHHH!!

Boatswain's Mate of the Watch: "Sir, shall I wake the skipper?"
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  #23  
Old 01-21-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

Er-r-r...no. The thread title is not quite right. The ship hit the reef. The chart is in error. Not yet known that the faulty chart even contributed to the grounding. Article doesn't even say whether the faulty chart was in use.

Elaborate procedures are in place to prevent this result. Rigorous voyage planning and reviews by five levels of chain of command using detailed checklists should have been done.

Wonder if the consolidation of ratings that eliminated the dedicated quartermaster rating and assigned their duties to electronics technicians may have contributed? No better way to get poor performance in an area than to deemphasize it.
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  #24  
Old 01-21-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

Er-r-r...no. The thread title is not quite right. The ship hit the reef. The chart is in error. Not yet known that the faulty chart even contributed to the grounding. Article doesn't even say whether the faulty chart was in use.

Elaborate procedures are in place to prevent this result. Rigorous voyage planning and reviews by five levels of chain of command using detailed checklists should have been done.

Wonder if the consolidation of ratings that eliminated the dedicated quartermaster rating and assigned their duties to electronics technicians may have contributed? Any way you slice the decision it still deemphasizes the importance of navigation.
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  #25  
Old 01-21-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

Associated Press
MANILA, Philippines – A U.S. Navy minesweeper ran aground on a coral reef in the Philippines on Thursday, but there were no injuries to the crew and Philippine authorities were trying to determine if the ship caused damage to a marine park in a protected area.
The Navy said in a statement that the crew of the USS Guardian was working to find out the best method of safely extracting the ship.
It had just completed a port call in Subic Bay, a former American naval base west of the Philippine capital, when it hit the reef in the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, 400 miles southeast of Manila.
The ship was not listing or leaking oil but about 15 percent of the bow appeared to have struck the reef, said Angelique Songco, head of the government's Protected Area Management Board, after flying over the ship in a Philippine Air Force plane. "It does not appear to be damaged."
She said it was unclear how much of the reef was damaged. She said the government imposes a fine of about $300 dollars per square meter (yard) of corals that are damaged.
In 2005, the environmental group Greenpeace was fined almost $7,000 after its flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, struck a reef in the same area.
Songco said that park rangers were not allowed to board the ship for inspection and were told to contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Their radio calls to the ship were ignored, she said.
She said the ship may be able to float free during a high tide later Thursday.
U.S. Navy ships have stepped up visits to Philippine ports for refueling, rest and recreation, and joint military exercises as a result of a redeployment of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines, a U.S. treaty ally, has been entangled in a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.


Read more: US Navy ship runs aground on coral reef in the Philippines | Fox News
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  #26  
Old 01-21-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

Here is an update on the navy vessel in question and a response from the Vice Admiral.
It is being followed very with great interest in the Philippines. This article is from an expat newspaper there. What it is of great interest is the attitude that the US Navy has towards the locals.......shame really...




MANILA, Philippines - The US Navy expressed regret after the minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground and damaged the protected Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea last week.

“As a protector of the sea and a sailor myself, I greatly regret any damage this incident has caused to the Tubbataha Reef,” said Vice Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US 7th Fleet, in a statement released by the US 7th Fleet.

“We know the significance of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and its importance as a World Heritage Site. Its protection is vital, and we take seriously our obligations to protect and preserve the maritime environment,” he added.

The USS Guardian, which just completed a port call in Subic Bay, ran aground at Tubbataha last Thursday due to strong waves.

In an initial statement, the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) blamed the mishap on wrong map navigational data being followed by the vessel.

“Rear Adm. Thomas Carney, commander of the Logistics Group Western Pacific, has been tasked as the on-scene commander effective Jan. 21 to oversee recovery efforts for the Guardian,” the US 7th Fleet statement said. Carney is based in Singapore.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

“Carney will embark the destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) which, along with several other US Navy vessels, is focused on preventing any further environmental damage to the reef and surrounding marine environment,” the statement said.

Strong waves had dislodged the 68-meter USS Guardian from its original position, causing it to make a 90-degree turn, possibly increasing the more damage to the reef that has been declared as a World Heritage.

Once the minesweeper is recovered, the US government will continue to work with the Philippine government to assess the extent of damage to the reef and the surrounding marine environment caused by the grounding, the 7th Fleet said.

The USPACOM would deploy a missile-firing warship to Tubbahata Reef as part of its salvage operations for the minesweeper.

Aside from the USS Guardian, the USPACOM has already deployed five support vessels to the country’s declared marine protected park – USS Bowditch, a pathfinder class oceanographic ship; three salvage tugs and MV-C Champion, a transport ship.

The US Navy had prevented four ships from the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard to go near the disabled USS Guardian.

US Navy officials have also barred rangers of the Tubbataha Marine Park Management from boarding the minesweeper to conduct an investigation.

US ship ignored warnings

Palawan Rep. Antonio Alvarez said the USS Guardian’s crew ignored the “no navigation” markings in maritime maps released by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority that had long declared Tubbataha as a “no navigation” zone.

“It willfully trespassed. It wasn’t lost. It was the voyage of an intruder,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez said even tuna boats in General Santos City are equipped with global positioning systems and the US vessel is equipped with better navigation tools, so it is improbable that the vessel lost its way.

He said the crew of the ship “wanted to take a quick dip in the reef famous for its pristine corals and clear waters and they should just admit it was an R-and-R (rest and recreation) gone wrong.”

Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay said the US Navy should pay for the damage the vessel had caused on the reef.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan asked yesterday the US government to explain why its military ship was in Tubbataha Reef, a Philippine territory.

In a press conference of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Honasan said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should demand an explanation from the US government on the presence of the US warship in Philippine territory.

Former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri asked Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario to require US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. to explain why the US government allowed its ship to enter Philippine territory.

“The US Navy is not the US government. It does not represent the US government. The US government must be the one to apologize to the Philippine government. Our friendship with the US must be reciprocal,” Zubiri said.

A militant fishermen’s group sent yesterday a letter to US President Barrack Obama to protest the alleged flagrant violation of Philippine sovereignty over the damage caused by the US Navy ship that ran aground at Tubbataha Reef.

“Mr. President, what is also lamentable is the extreme political arrogance displayed by US military officials under the Asia Pacific

Command,” said the letter sent by the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang

Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) to the White House in Washington.

Pamalakaya lamented that US authorities even prevented Philippine officials from inspecting the USS Guardian, as if Tubbataha Reef and the entire archipelgo are within the territory of America outside the US mainland.

Members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) staged a rally near the US embassy in Manila to protest the damage caused by the US Navy ship to Tubbataha Reef.

“The Philippine government must assert its sovereignty on this matter, and send a clear message to Obama that we will not allow our national interests to be trampled on. Otherwise, it will be four more years of shameless subservience and mendicancy for the Philippines. That’s another four years where sovereignty is sacrificed in the name of special relations,” said Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes.

Reyes said that unless the Phl-US Visiting Forces Agreement is abrogated, more maritime disasters would inevitably take place in the country. – With Pia Lee-Brago, Paolo Romero, Jose Rodel Clapano, Rhodina Villanueva, Ding Cervantes
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  #27  
Old 01-21-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

It sounds as if "military intelligence" is being employed.
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Old 01-21-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
It sounds as if "military intelligence" is being employed.
So cute and so witty...
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  #29  
Old 01-21-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

Damn, this is sounding worse all the time...

Quote:

The comments from the superintendent of Tubbataha Marine Park, Angelique Songco, added to growing anger in the Philippines over the incident, for which the U.S. Navy has apologized but may still face fines.

Park rangers radioed the USS Guardian to advise it was nearing the Tubbataha Reef on Thursday, but the ship captain insisted they raise their complaint with the U.S. embassy, Songco told reporters.

She said shortly after the warning, the 224-foot vessel became stuck on part of Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Sulu Sea about 80 miles southeast of the western island of Palawan.

Stranded Navy Ship Takes on Water | Weather News | Weather Underground
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  #30  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: US Navy ship strikes reef because of incorrect charts

We found that Max C, The Captain and the paper charts in the Philippines were all a bit off in certain areas....The MKII eyeball was the key, even then we did manage to briefly clean the bottom of the keel.
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