USS John S McCain collision in Singapore waters due to 'sudden turn' by US warship, says MOT
The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain. (Photo: Reuters/Ahmad Masood)
SINGAPORE: A collision between US Navy destroyer USS John S McCain and an oil tanker in Singapore territorial waters on Aug 21 was due to a "sudden turn to the left" made by the warship.This was the conclusion reached by the Ministry of Transport's (MOT) Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) which released its findings on Thursday (Mar 8) following its safety investigation into the collision.
"The Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) of the Ministry of Transport has concluded its safety investigation into the collision involving the Liberian-registered oil tanker Alnic MC (AM) and the US Naval vessel USS John S McCain (JSM) that occurred in Singapore territorial waters on Aug 21 2017," the statement said.
Ten US sailors died in the incident when the navy ship collided with merchant vessel Alnic MC (AM) east of Singapore at around 5.30am as it was heading to Singapore for a routine port call.In its conclusions, TSIB said the warship "JSM made a sudden turn to the left into the path of AM because of a series of missteps that took place after propulsion controls were transferred."Here's the Ministry of Transport's full statement:
"The Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) of the Ministry of Transport has concluded its safety investigation into the collision involving the Liberian-registered oil tanker Alnic MC (AM) and the US Naval vessel USS John S McCain (JSM) that occurred in Singapore territorial waters on 21 August 2017 (see Annex A for chartlet of collision location).The investigation determined that prior to the collision JSM made a sudden turn to the left, which brought her into the path of AM.The investigation revealed that:a. JSM made a sudden turn to the left into the path of AM because of a series of missteps that took place after propulsion controls were transferred.b. When the Bridge team of AM saw JSM turning, it presumed that JSM would be able to safely pass ahead. The collision happened within three minutes of JSM turning left (see Annex B), and the actions taken by AM were insufficient to avoid the collision.The investigation team noted that the US Navy and the operator of the Liberian-registered AM Stealth Maritime Corporation S.A. have initiated positive safety actions to prevent the recurrence of a similar incident. For instance, we note that the US Navy is looking into re-introducing manoeuvring boards and putting crew through a Bridge Resource Management course. Stealth Maritime Corporation S.A. has also reviewed its Safety Management System to ensure prescribed requirements for safety of navigation and effective Bridge Resource Management are adhered to.TSIB’s safety investigation was conducted in accordance with the protocol set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Representatives from the Liberian Flag Administration and the United States Coast Guard, acting on behalf of the United States National Transportation Safety Board, participated in gathering evidence from the vessels and crew involved. The report will be shared with the IMO to prevent similar occurrences in the future."