Agato Destroyer Collision: Bridge Management Questions

The bow and stern parts of the Seitoku Maru fishing boat are lifted onto the deck of a salvage barge Wednesday off Tateyama in Chiba Prefecture. Two fishermen from the boat were still missing on Wednesday. (TSUYOSHI TAKEDA/ THE ASAHI SHIMBUN)

A number of sources are beginning to flush out the circumstances surrounding the collision between the Japanese Aegis class Destroyer Agato, and the fishing vessel Seitoku Maru. The collision took place about 04:00. The two fisherman aboard Seitoku Maru are missing.

Here’s an excerpt from The Daily Yomiuri:

“Before the accident, a crew member went out on deck in readiness to replace the crew member on duty, taking a lookout position at about 3:45 a.m. to get used to the dark. The relieving crew member spotted a red light on a fishing boat ahead of the destroyer to the right. The crew member continued surveillance, but it is likely that the member failed to tell the radar crew or other crew members about the sighting. Having just taken over lookout duty, the relieving crew member may have incorrectly assumed that the crew member who had just been relieved of duty already knew about the light, thereby failing to recognize the importance of this information.”

While news sources do not refer to Bridge Resource Management issues, it is apparent that the collision developed around the 04:00 change of watch.

Google news links on the Destroyer Agato collision can be found here.

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This post was written by Richard Rodriguez, Rescue Tug Captain, and US Coast Guard approved instructor for License Training. You can read more of his articles at the BitterEnd of the net.