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USS Philadelphia Collides With Cargo Ship in Gulf

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Postby Dolphin » Mon Sep 05, 2005 5:14 am

U.S. Sub Collides With Cargo Ship in Gulf
September 05, 2005 2:48 AM EDT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A U.S. Navy submarine collided early Monday with a Turkish merchant ship in the Gulf, the U.S. Navy reported. No one was hurt on either vessel.

The USS Philadelphia was traveling on the surface of the Gulf when it hit the Turkish-flagged M/V Yaso Aysen, a cargo ship, at around 2 a.m. local time, the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain reported in a statement.

No sailors or merchant seamen were injured, the Navy said.

The Philadelphia was conducting surface operations on its way to Bahrain for a scheduled port visit, the Navy said.

The submarine continued to Bahrain where inspectors will check it for damage. There were no immediate reports of damage to the Turkish ship.

The Navy statement did not say exactly where the collision took place.

The Philadelphia is part of a fleet of U.S. and allied navy vessels patrolling the Gulf, conducting what are called "maritime security operations" against weapons and drug smuggling.
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Postby Novagator » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:52 am

Well thats the end of that Captain's career.
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Postby mike byers » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:20 pm

Was this merchant a suspect of smuggling, and tried to run?
Maybe she had to restrained / rammed.

A pretty extream measure, but maybe it was neccessary.
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Postby Kwakelee » Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:17 pm

Here is a link to what the local paper here in Connecticut is saying about the collision.

The Day SSN 690 Article
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Postby Kwakelee » Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:10 am

Here is an update on the Philly.

Philly Update
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Postby Robert » Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:01 am

"The sources said under international maritime “rules of the road,” any vessel overtaking another must automatically yield the right of way, so if the M/V Yaso Aysen is found to have been overtaking the submarine, then legally the Philadelphia would be in the clear, which could mean the Navy is not responsible for legal damages to the freighter."

From my limited boating and Coast Guard class this is an incomplete statement. Both parties in a collision must make efforts to avoid said collision. It sounds like the Navy may be peeved they got runover and don't want to pay damages. Though I would expect that the amount needed to repair the ship would be much less than required to repair the sub.
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Postby TMSmalley » Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:59 am

The Philly as the "priviledged or stand-on" vessel (since she was being passed), only has to maintain course and speed. The freighter was the "burdened or give-way" vessel, since she was doing the passing. I would assume that if the captain and crew are disciplined, it won't be due to a violation of the COLREGS or the General Prudential Rule but as it has been said - he let the danged thing get too close to him. He could have (but was not required to) change course and speed to avoid the collision.

72 COLREGS ( International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea - 1972 version) Part A Rule 2 states in part...

Rule 2 Responsibility

(a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master, or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.
(b) In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

This is often referred to as the " "General Prudential Rule."

This Rule first states that all the Rules must be complied with, and the customary practices of good seamanship must be followed. But it then goes on to recognize that there may be "special circumstances." Its intention is to apply common sense to the interpretation and application of the Rules, and to prevent any perversion of the Rules to avoid the consequences of their misconstruction or misapplication.

It recognizes that a departure from the strict language of the Rules may be required to avoid immediate danger - no vessel has the right of way through another vessel!

There may be special situations where a departure from the Rules is not only desirable, but is required. Should a collision result, strict literal compliance with the Rules may not be a defense.
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Postby 80-1125448797 » Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:18 am

Dang, Tim. Are you some kind of Maritime JAG or something? Pretty impressive. :)
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Postby TMSmalley » Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:32 am

Hah! My ex would add the word "Off" to that title :D

Actually I'm the state boating education coordinator for the State of Minnesota.
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Postby Kwakelee » Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:20 am

Here is an update on the Philly from our local news paper in Groton.

Philly Update
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Postby Walt » Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:41 pm

The Skipper was relieved of command. The premise is that the Philly let the other vessel get too close..
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