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更新时间:2017-6-19 18:29:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Sleeping Sailors on U.S.S. Fitzgerald Awoke to a Calamity at Sea

As a U.S. destroyer cruised off the waters of Japan in clear weather after 2 a.m. Saturday, only a few dozen of the crew of 350 were likely to be awake: standing watch, keeping the engines running, manning the bridge.


Then, say Navy officers with decades of experience at sea, there were probably minutes of sheer terror aboard the Fitzgerald before the collision with an enormous container ship that killed seven sailors.


“My guess is they suddenly saw the lights of the other ship coming toward them and tried to veer off,” said retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, whose book “Destroyer Captain” recounts his time commanding a similar ship in the mid-1990s. “Suddenly your ship is sinking under you. It’s terrifying.”

“我猜他们突然看到了迎面而来的另一艘船上的灯光,试图转向,”退役海军上将詹姆斯·G·斯塔夫里迪斯(James G. Stavridis)说。斯塔夫里迪斯的著作《驱逐舰舰长》(Destroyer Captain)详细记述了他在90年代中期指挥一艘类似舰船的经历。“突然之间,你脚下的船正在下沉。很可怕。”

Navy leaders Sunday hailed the efforts of the surviving sailors who struggled to seal off compartments and pump out the water that poured in through gaping holes torn in the starboard side.


“Heroic efforts prevented the flooding from catastrophically spreading, which could have caused the ship to founder or sink,” said Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, commander of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet. “It could have been much worse.”

“英勇举措阻止了海水灾难性地蔓延,那本会导致舰船沉没或下沉,”海军第七舰队(Seventh Fleet)指挥官、海军中将约瑟夫·P·奥库安(Joseph P. Aucoin)说。“情况本来可能严重得多。”

With the aid of tugboats, the Fitzgerald returned Saturday to its home port, the U.S. base at Yokosuka, Japan, south of Tokyo.


As hundreds of anxious spouses, children and fellow sailors waited for word, Navy divers entered flooded compartments below decks and recovered the bodies of seven sailors, according to former Navy officials.


The Navy released the names Sunday night of the seven sailors aboard the Fitzgerald who were killed in the collision with a container ship. They were all located in flooded berths, the Navy said.


The sailors were identified as Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Virginia; Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego; Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Connecticut; Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas; Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, California; Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Maryland; and Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio.

公布的七名水兵分别是来自弗吉尼亚州帕尔迈拉19岁的达科塔·凯尔·里格斯比(Dakota Kyle Rigsby)、圣迭戈25岁的慎吾·亚历山大·道格拉斯(Shingo Alexander Douglass)、康涅狄格州奥克维尔25岁的玉·T·张·黄(Ngoc T Truong Huynh)、得克萨斯州韦斯拉科26岁的诺埃·赫南德斯(Noe Hernandez)、加利福尼亚州丘拉维斯塔23岁的卡尔罗斯维克托·甘佐·西巴扬(Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan)、马里兰州黑尔索普24岁的沙维尔·亚历克·马丁(Xavier Alec Martin)和俄亥俄州伊利里亚37岁的小加里·利奥·雷姆(Gary Leo Rehm Jr.)。

The Navy said the collision inflicted significant damage to the destroyer above and below the water line, flooding berths, a machinery area and the radio room.


Photographs showed the side of the Fitzgerald caved in about one-third of the way back. Among the compartments that flooded were cabins where 116 sailors were sleeping, Aucoin said.


A collision of a U.S. Navy ship resulting in fatalities is extremely rare; veteran seamen could recall only a handful in recent decades.


Aucoin said he would appoint a flag officer to conduct one of several investigations that will seek to establish exactly what happened and to apportion responsibility.


The Navy will conduct a separate safety investigation intended to find lessons on what might be done differently to reduce the risk of such accidents in the future.


The U.S. Coast Guard will also carry out a marine casualty investigation, Aucoin said, evidently because the crash involved a commercial ship, the 29,000-ton ACX Crystal, registered in the Philippines.

奥库安说,美国海岸警卫队(U.S. Coast Guard)也将展开海损事故调查,这显然是因为事故涉及一艘商船,即在菲律宾注册的2.9万吨的“ACX水晶”号(ACX Crystal)。

According to Navy veterans, the main investigation ordered by Aucoin will compile a minute-by-minute timeline of everything that happened before the collision, probably beginning at the moment the ACX Crystal appeared on the Fitzgerald’s radar.


Investigators will interview everyone who was on duty that night and assess their training, experience, competence and sleep schedule. They will also assess the performance of the radar, which stores a recording like the “black box” on an aircraft.


They will determine whether anyone on the ship’s bridge pulled the collision alarm, a switch that would have caused an extremely loud signal to sound, directing every crew member to rush to their specifically assigned emergency stations on the ship.


“The crew is highly trained in damage control,” Stavridis said. “That includes fighting fires and fighting flooding.”


The investigators’ attention will be focused in particular on the Fitzgerald’s commander, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, who was in his stateroom on the destroyer’s starboard side when the Crystal’s bow struck right at that point. He was injured and airlifted by a Japanese Coast Guard helicopter to Yokosuka, along with two other crew members, the Navy said.

调查人员的重点尤其会放在“菲茨杰拉德”号的指挥官、海军中校布赖斯·本森(Bryce Benson)身上。“水晶”号撞上来时,他身在驱逐舰右舷的船长室里。海军说,本森身体受伤,和另外两名船员一起被日本海上保安厅(Japanese Coast Guard)的一架直升飞机送去了横须贺。

“His cabin was destroyed. He’s lucky to be alive,” Aucoin said of Benson, 40, who had commanded the Fitzgerald for a little more than one year.


Several experienced ship commanders said the captain is all but certain to be relieved of command as a result of the accident.


“It’s a terrible, swift sanction, but it sends a message to everyone else in the fleet — make sure you’re training harder, make sure they call you when another ship is approaching,” McGrath said.


Stavridis, the former destroyer commander, who is now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said it was too early to speculate about the cause of the collision.

现任塔夫茨大学弗莱彻法律与外交学院(Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University)院长的前驱逐舰指挥官斯塔夫里迪斯说,现在猜测撞船原因为时过早。

The Fitzgerald, under international maritime rules, would be expected to give the Crystal the right of way because it was on the destroyer’s starboard side when they hit. But Stavridis said the container ship “may have carried out some bizarre maneuver” before the crash.


Marine traffic records show the Crystal made a series of sharp turns about 25 minutes before the collision, which in crowded seas might conceivably have caused a cascade of maneuvers by other vessels as they tried to avoid one another.


Whatever the ultimate findings, Stavridis said, “My heart is really with the captain. He’s got a rough passage ahead, to put it in nautical terms.”


Marc Tuell, who served as a personnel specialist on the Fitzgerald from 2010 to 2013, when he retired from the Navy, said it was deeply disturbing to watch the video of the damaged ship being towed to port in Japan.

从2010年开始在“菲茨杰拉德”号上担任人事专员,直到2013年从海军退役的马克·图尔(Marc Tuell)说,看着受损的“菲茨杰拉德”号被拖回日本港口的视频令人非常不安。

“I was putting myself in the mindset of what the crew is going through,” said Tuell, of Deltona, Florida, who now works at a Toyota dealer. “It’s pretty heart wrenching, having walked those decks for three years.”