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Old August 24th, 2005, 08:04 PM
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Default 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

USS McFaul and USS Winston Churchill returned to Naval Station Norfolk Wednesday. The destroyers collided in the water off Florida Monday. No one was injured but both ships were damaged. USS McFaul and USS Winston Churchill were with the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group conducting exercises that involved 10 Norfolk based ships. They had just left Norfolk on August 15th, a week before the collision.

USS McFaul was behind USS Churchill when the bow of McFaul connected with Churchill's hanger helo bay. Both ships were damaged but were able to return to Norfolk under their own power. The return to the pier at Naval Station Norfolk was not a festive homecoming. It was considered part of the investigation into why these ships collided. The ships will stay at Naval Station Norfolk for the investigation.

USS McFaul was due to return Wednesday, but USS Winston Churchill was not scheduled to be back until September 2nd. The Navy will decide on the crews training after they determine the amount of damage to the ship. The Navy says they usually see about one such collision each year.

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John's daughter Dana has emailed us and no one is hurt but they are a bit shook up. She is on the USS Churchill for a few more months and then she is being transfered to Houston. She said she was asleep in her rack when the ships collided. All sailors are on shore duty until repairs are made.



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Old August 24th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

Best wishes to all involved...Must have been a very scary situation

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Old August 24th, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

I once had to reconstruct the tracks for two ships that collided. When I traced the tracks, they never got within four miles. Of course, my boss wouldn't accept my answer that the ships never touched.

That sounds like some bad seamanship. It is sometimes common to have two ships collide during exercises but it should never happen from astern.

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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

A frightening situation for those who are serving us so well and so selflessly.

Please thank your daughter for her service to our county.

The U.S. Navy has no peer in the world and we can be thankful that these accidents are rare. Thankfully no one was injured.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

Carole,
I am glad that no one was injured and there was nothing more than damage to the vessels. I think someone has some "splainin" to do. :-)

Take care,
Mike

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Old August 25th, 2005, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

I just can't understand how two ships, in that massive ocean, can collide. I'm also baffled how two planes in that endless sky can collide. Just amazing.

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Thomas
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Old August 25th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

Sure happy Dana is O.K. It is amazing that this happens occasionally, but unfortunately, it does. Please thank Dana, for all of us, for her service to our great country.
Ken
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Old August 25th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

I am just glad your daughter and everyone else is safe..I agree with Thomas, that those big ships should not have collided due to the enourmous size. Somebody was not doing their job..Hmmmm.

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Old August 25th, 2005, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

Thanks everyone. As I said, they are shook up. I wonder the same thing Thomas......with sonar/radar, etc, how do planes or ships collide in such vast areas - amazing but it does happen. The reason Dana is being transfered her is because she has been requesting shore duty for a few years. She has been on a destroyer since she joined. First the USS Hayler, now the Churchill. Since sailors are now on shore till repairs are made, I guess she might actually be enjoying the time off the ship. She wont be here till about February of 2006. They are sending her to Florida first for some additional training, then on to Corpus Christi for about a week to debrief, etc, then on to Houston.

No one was injured in the incident so that is a big plus!

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Old August 25th, 2005, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churc

Did the Captain look at all like Humphrey Bogart? Did he twirl little metal balls around in his hand?. Was he looking for some missing strawberries?
Makes you wonder, who on the ship was responsible for the tough job, looking straight ahead and not hitting what is in front of you?
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Old August 25th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

Glad all is well.

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Old August 25th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: 2 Navy Destroyers Collide - Daughter is on the Churchill

Well, there are at least two people whose Naval career is at an end over this, maybe more. No matter what happened both Captain's will never again command.
As to why it happens.....while the ocean is indeed a big place you have quite a few ships operating in formations and they all turn at certain times and in precision and there is not much room for error. Ships take a good deal of room to stop or turn and even them they cannot always turn in the doirection they wish because of other ships. No it shold not have happened and it rarely does but the fact is, it does. The fortunate thing is that no one was injuried and thank goodness this is also the norm as the collisions are not like a car wreck but rather a very slight touching or glancing blow.
Jim

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