Lessons learned from shipwreck

I’ve noted with more than passing interest the recent spate of deadly collisions involving U.S. Navy ships in the Far East. A few weeks ago, for example, the USS John S. McCain collided with a Liberian-flagged oil tanker, the MV (motor vessel) Alnic MC, in the Singapore Strait, which connects the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Last June, the USS Fitzgerald hit the Philippine-flagged container ship, MV ACX Crystal, off the coast of Japan. The two collisions resulted in significant loss of life on the American ships. Both our vessels are Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, our latest and most modern ships. They are the most complex pieces of steel sitting in salt water today. The McCain’s collision was the fourth this year involving a U.S. Navy ship and a merchant vessel, one of which was actually a Russian intelligence collection ship in the Bosporus Strait in Turkey.

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