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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > US Navy ship inquiry finished.....
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-24-2013 10:08 AM
TropicCat
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKscooter View Post
If the ex captain was relying on electronic nav s..
With all due respect, what planet do you sail on?

All of us depend on electronic navigational charts. From container ships, cruise ships, naval ships and those of us that sail FRP boats. It's been this way since they deployed GPS satellites. I keep paper charts only as a backup, as does every other sailor I know. Paper charts and sextants have been backup items for over a decade.

Now having said this, it's irrelevant to this discussion as this case has nothing to do with a chart plotter. Presented with conflicting charts, had the Captain plotted his course using the paper charts and still run aground, the inquiry result would not have changed one bit. Any boat hits anything other than waves, it's the Captain's fault.

This story is about conflicting Naval charts and blind luck or rather bad luck.
06-24-2013 07:56 AM
AKscooter
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

If the ex captain was relying on electronic nav slaved to electronic charts as his sole nav aids then he is part of a larger problem with many boaters today. You correlate your position with known visible waypoints/other islands etc. (He was in an area that has roughly 10,000 islands) Ignoring alarm signals of his equipment, disregarding rules, regulations etc. Totally believable as he ran aground due many such factors. Including ignoring all the layers of personnel below him whose sole job is to navigate, stand watch etc. So when a poster says herr durr it is not his fault he relied on incorrect electronic charts given to him and then he ran onto a reef..... you think he should be cut some slack?.......please stay off the water and do your sailing dockside. If you rely only on electronic nav aids and DO NOT stand watch, refuse to correlate visible landmarks with what your charts are telling you, failing to communicate with appropriate local vessels, and ignoring authorities trying to warn you of something amiss....wow just wow.....you will sooner or later make a "mistake". At least no one died from this captains choices.
06-23-2013 10:57 PM
paulk
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Flipping coins has no place in navigating. If EITHER chart showed a possible problem, the captain would have been justified in going out of his way to avoid it. If you think there might be issues because of discrepancies on charts, you have people reading soundings and forward-sonar signals especially carefully, and have other people ready to react if anything - like a reef- is reported. Coral grows almost straight up from the bottom, so you need to be on your toes. I sailed transatlantic with an ex-Navy Destroyer captain who was assigned to search atolls in the Pacific for downed pilots at the end of WW II. He said the standing order was to proceed at flank speed on the given course to the next atoll, and when the depthsounder showed something like 2000 feet, to execute an immediate emergency full right rudder and stop engines. They'd be 500 feet from the island.
06-23-2013 08:43 PM
TropicCat
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
The point is that she wasn't being navigated at all...simply driven between points on the chart plotter.
Well..yeah.... ever been on the bridge of a large ship at sea? That's how it's been done the last 15 years. You steer a ship with a mouse or stick, not a wheel and plot courses on your chart plotter same as we do.

Before we go down this rabbit hole, let me say that the guy was the Captain and is ultimately responsible for the safety of ship and crew. Automatically ... he is at fault.. the hearing couldn't have gone any other way.

One point on that chart plotter though. The report points out that he used two Navy issued charts for navigating those waters and that the two charts did not agree. When he plotted his course, one chart showed him clear of the reef and one showed the ship passing over the reef.

The Captain obviously flipped a coin and lost. I'd put an equal amount of blame on the command that issued those charts as that was what he was supposed to use to navigate the ship.. yet this fact hasn't been covered in this thread.

Which brings up a couple of questions..

They convicted the Captain for driving his ship on a reef. Which occurred because they plotted their course using the inaccurate set of charts. How was he supposed to know which set of issued charts was accurate?

Lastly, by finding the Captain at fault (this was non judicial, he was not found guilty), how does this prevent any other US Navy ships from grounding on the same damn reef?
06-23-2013 09:43 AM
AKscooter
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

I did not read the entire 160 page report....and yes it might be a boiler plate production as most reports generated tend to be a reproduction of the preceding report. That given, I seriously would like to know who was responsible for ever letting this guy behind a wheel.
06-22-2013 05:27 PM
fryewe
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Correction: Wasn't enough.
06-22-2013 05:26 PM
fryewe
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TropicCat View Post
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?
The point is that she wasn't being navigated at all...simply driven between points on the chart plotter.

Watch standing practices don't develop overnight. This ship had a culture that allowed steaming without navigating. I don't have to know anything about this ship's history or its commander to know that.

I can also tell you that it wasn't just the Navigation Department on this ship that had problems. A ship with poor watch standing on the bridge...the most visible of watch parties...will have shortcomings in Operations and Deck and Engineering and others.

Too bad the reef, the ship, and the Navy's reputation were the casualties of their laziness.

Doesn't mean that the crew of Guardian were bad people or weren't trying hard. They just didn't live up to their responsibilities. They knew them and were trained to do them. The Navy makes sure of that.

But they are people and they are fallible. That's why...for important activities - like Navigation...several levels of command and watch structure are required.

For example there are four distinct levels of oversight: for open ocean steaming, for restricted waters, for piloting waters, and for sea and anchor detail (entering and leaving port). I don't know what level was set for Guardian. What I do know is that it was enough. And it was a habit.
06-22-2013 02:25 PM
SloopJonB
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
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.
06-22-2013 02:15 PM
TropicCat
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
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?
06-22-2013 01:57 PM
fryewe
Re: US Navy ship inquiry finished.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TropicCat View Post
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.
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