USS John S. McCain collision

Safety changes made after the collision

Two months after the Aug 21 collision, the USS John S. McCain's commanding officer Alfredo J. Sanchez was relieved of his duties, along with executive officer Jessie L. Sanchez.

The US Navy has also issued a directive stating that during voyage, the Automatic Identification System (AIS) on all vessels must be switched on, especially in congested waterways. The AIS reveals information - like a ship's location, identity, speed and direction of travel - to other vessels in the area and monitoring stations. On the day of the accident, the system on the McCain was not turned on.

Reportedly concerned about the workload of naval crew, the US Navy has also said it will be looking into increasing the manning levels and introducing measures relating to fatigue. Another focus is to improve situational awareness capabilities and intensify training.

As for Stealth Maritime Corporation, which manages oil tanker Alnic MC, it has increased oversight of its managed ships and is considering implementing new systems to assess the effectiveness of its Safety Management System (SMS). This is an important tool which stipulates all the important policies, practices and procedures that are to be followed in order to ensure safe functioning of the ships at sea. The firm has reviewed its SMS to ensure prescribed requirements for safety of navigation are adhered to, and taken measures to ensure effective bridge team management on its vessels.

In view of the safety actions taken by relevant stakeholders, the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau said in its report that it would not be making further recommendations.

Karamjit Kaur

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2018, with the headline 'Safety changes made after the collision'. Print Edition | Subscribe