Possible Steering Failure on USS John S. McCain

Sep 22, 2017

Investigators who are looking into the collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker are leaning towards a loss of steering as the cause and “the crew’s failure to compensate.” Warships generally use manual steering when traveling through “high-traffic shipping areas.” However, the crew was not using manual controls when the two ships collided. Part of regular training is to practice “what to do when steering controls on a warship are lost.” On a guided missile destroyer, manual controls should be manned so that if steering control is lost it can be regained quickly. Ten sailors died as a result of the collision. The cost to repair the ship may run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.