UPDATE 23 JUNE: Russians Hack ACX Crystal's AUTOPILOT Steering Ship Into USS Fitzgerald Killing Seven Sailors
The ACX Crystal's course shows that it performed a rapid U-turn at speed and then turned to head back to Tokyo - at which point it collided with the USS Fitzgerald Source
UPDATE 23 JUNE
POSSIBILITY THE CONTAINER SHIP'S COMPUTER SYSTEM COULD HAVE BEEN HACKED AND THE SHIP DELIBERATELY STEERED INTO THE USS FITZGERALD
The deadly collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship June 17 took place while the freighter was on autopilot, according to Navy officials. The Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal was under control of a computerized navigation system that was steering and guiding the container vessel, according to officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation. Investigators so far found no evidence the collision was deliberate. Nevertheless, an accident during computerized navigation raises the possibility the container ship's computer system could have been hacked and the ship deliberately steered into the USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. Washington Free Beacon Read More>>>>>>
ACX Crystal Veered Off Course Twice:Negligence?
Now it is reported that the Ship's Autopilot was on.
'There was nobody in charge': Japanese cargo ship was on AUTOPILOT when it collided with the USS Fitzgerald says defense expert and no one knew how to turn it off after accident which claimed the lives of seven US Navy sailors
There was nobody on the bridge of a Japanese cargo ship when it struck the USS Fitzgerald on Saturday and the vessel was operating on autopilot, claims an expert with defense industry bible Janes. As the investigation into the collision which claimed the lives of seven US Navy sailors got off to a shambolic start - with neither side agreeing what time it happened - one expert says it was computer error which caused the fatal crash. 'I suspect, from the data, that the ACX Crystal was running on autopilot the whole time, and nobody was on the bridge. If anyone was on the bridge, they had no idea how to turn off the autopilot,' said Steffan Watkins, an IT security consultant and ship tracking analyst for Janes Intelligence Review, to DailyMail.com. Read More>>>>>
Time Of Collision 1:30AM Or 2:20AM?
Steffan Watkins told DailyMail.com that the u-turn could have been carried out to find out what had been hit. He stated: 'The collision happened at 1.30am, not 2.20am or 2.25am as the US Navy and the US 7th Fleet has mistakenly reported.' A spokesman for the Pacific Fleet confirmed the Navy is sticking with its time of 2.20am for the time of the collision.
After shifting through the data of the Crystals tracks at sea Watkins has concluded the cargo carrier mistakenly blindsided the Fitzgerald as the ship was without a human pilot at the time. 'I suspect, from the data, that the Crystal was running on autopilot the whole time, and nobody was on the bridge. If anyone was on the bridge, they had no idea how to turn off the autopilot. 'The ship taking off from the collision and resuming course, to me, is 100 per cent proof the ship was on autopilot. Nobody speeds away from that.' According to the the tracking data 15 minutes after the presumed 1.30am collision with the Fitzgerald, the ship righted it's course, and increased speed, readjusting for the change in course the collision had made.
'This is, to me, proof that a computer was driving. No captain shakes off a collision with a US Navy Destroyer and resumes course so perfectly,' said Watkins. The company that charted the Crystal, NYK Line, confirmed to DailyMail.com that its offices received a call from to say they had hit something. It wasn't until an hour later that the merchant ship informed the Japanese coast Guard. 'After further review of all the data and their own information (I am not privy to what sensors and transponders they might have) I'm sure the US Navy knows by now the hit was at 1.30am, but is in a difficult position to explain that time difference,” said Watkins. 'Not calling it in until 2.25am is unbelievable unless you consider they had no idea what they hit until 2.25am. Source