With the August 21, 2017 collision between USS John S. McCain and Alnic MC there's more tragedy for US sailors and embarrassment for the US Navy. This being the second US destroyer collision in just over 2 months (since the June 17, 2017 USS Fitzgerald collision).
Both the USS McCain and USS Fitzgerald collisions
- took place in highly congested waters (packed with ships).
- involved 30.000+ ton civilian ships generally considered too large to take evasive action
- the onus to avoid collision may be on the more manoeuvrable smaller destroyers, which also have more lookouts and sensors (eg. radar and satellite sensors (including AIS)).
The US Navy has already blamed "a steering failure" for a collision. But steering problems given backup systems involve a "combination of mechanical [equipment] and procedural [human] failure"
Under its own power, USS McCain has reached Changi Naval Base in Singapore where US investigators will look for the "missing" sailors.
The location of the destroyer USS John S. McCain collision off Malaysia and Singapore and actual damage to destroyer (inset)(Map and inset courtesy The Sun)