Former Navy Captain Says Navigators Likely Trusted ‘Eyes And Not The Radar’ In Deadly Collision

The Navy will review safety procedures when it conducts a one-day halt of operations this week.

By Rhonda FanningAugust 22, 2017 10:08 am

U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott Swift said divers have recovered some remains of the 10 missing sailors after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore Monday.

The collision was the fourth accident involving a Navy vessel in Asian Pacific waters this year. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, announced a review of operating procedures that will include a one-day halt of Naval operations altogether.

Donald Inbody, a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Texas State University and a retired captain in the United States Navy, says Richardson’s review order isn’t as scary as it sounds and the Navy will rotate through fleets throughout the day; it won’t all happen at the same time.

He also says that in the two collisions this year that had casualties, the ships were traveling in very crowded areas, and at night.

“What I think happened…it got confusing to the bridge watch, and so what they’re looking at with their eyes and the lights that they see don’t match up to the radar. And probably the mistake that was made was that they trusted their eyes and not their radar,” Inbody says.


Written by Caroline Covington.