Originally Posted by Safriz
This is no ordinary civilian ship. You speak as if all waterborne vessels, from a dinghy to an aircraft carrier, are alike on the water.
An oil tanker is usually on a fixed course and its headings are designed to deviate little for cost consideration. That does not mean it cannot maneuver. In fact...
Oil Tankers - MarineWiki
Good maneuvering characteristics are critical for all oil tankers.
Most tankers are directionally unstable. In other words the center of lateral resistance in pure sway is forward of the center of rotation in yaw and they need active rudder movements to maintain their heading.This is a consequence of their relatively low length/beam ratios and high block coefficients. The twin skeg arrangements will improve course keeping as will a large rudder or any other fin at the aft end. Turning ability is the converse of course keeping and a poor course keeper will be a good turner. The tactical diameter of most tanker hulls is between 2.5 and 3.5 times their length comfortably within the IMO criterion of 5 times length. Dynamic positioning systems are standard for shuttle tankers which are often required to maintain station for extended periods of time.
This is not the same as agility. But it does mean that despite its mass, an oil tanker is fully capable of maneuvers, especially for collision avoidance.
Whenever there is such a collision at sea, details matter on the manner of collision because it tells the investigators who is truly at fault. Ships require a lot of room to maneuver and just like any moving objects, once in motion, it is difficult to impose deviations.
- Were there any other traffic in the area that compelled both ships to maneuver to avoid other potential collisions but unfortunately ended up in this one?
- Was it a broadside collision, or were their bows scraped together? If the latter, that could mean both ships were heading in the same direction and this would lead the investigation into how they mis-navigate.
- Was the weather a contributing factor?
Questions like these are often discarded when there is an overwhelming need to mock the US. This is to be expected.