Sunday, November 7, 2010

What was Zhan Qixiong plan when he was intercepted by Yonakuni?

This is the video taken by Yonakuni on the collision when it tried to intecept Minjinyu 5179.

First, let's note a few facts (see previous post for background and screenshots)
  1. Yonakuni has taken a long circle to come in front of Minjinyu, starting from about 8 O'clock direction (of Minjinyu 5179) to reach 2 O'clock in the begining of the video, and was at around 11:30 O'clock when its end collided with Minjinyu 5179
  2. At around 8'30", you can see another JCG ship, probably Hateruma (Let call it H), behind Yonakuni and to the right of Minjinyu 5179. Since we did not see it before earlier while Yonakuni was circling in front of Minjinyu 5179, we can conclude that  H was probably either at 7-8 O'clock direction for Minjinyu 5179, or some distance from the 3 O'clock direction
  3. The track thickened a lot right behind Yonakuni at the moment of the collision, most likely indicating it has slowed down and parked (confirmed by the relative motion of Yonakuni with the sea wave track in the video)
  4. You can see an island right behind Minjinyu 5179 (wiki said it is Huangwei Yu, also called Kubashima by Japan), indicating that Minjinyu was trying to sail away from the island and halted when being cut in front by Yonakuni
The situation is illustrated in this diagram below (click to enlarge)

What would you do if you wre captain Zhan at this moment?
  • Your boat is much slower than Yonakuni (10 knots vs 30-40 knots), so it is useless to go anywhere in front of it. 12-9 O'clock directions are ruled out. It takes some time for Yonakuni to make a u-turn so your best chance is go behind it.
  • You cannot go backward. You probably arrived at this position and were planning to move forward. But you had to stop your engine because Yonakuni is cutting in front of you. Going backward will bring you closer to Huangwei Yu and bring you more trouble. You want to be as far away from Huangwei Yu as you can now.
  • You should also see JCG H coming from behind and trying to round you up on the other side, so you should try to get as far away from Huangwei Yu as possible. You hope if you can get out of the 24 nm radius you would be free and avoid being caught and result in financial losses
  • You options are anywhere from 3-12 O'Oclock. 12 O'clock (proceeding directly ahead) offer you the best chance to escape, because JCG H is behind you and may intercept you from behind on your right hand side Another reason to avoid your right hand side is that H probably is already at your 3 O'clock now.
  • You see Yonakuni is moving, there are some 100-200m between you and Yonakuni, so by the time you reached its current position (Y0), it should have moved to Y1 already.
So you took the short path, charging directly ahead to break the trap. M0 to M1.

Yonakuni knew that and saw that. It braked/backpedaled and stayed at Y2 instead. You tried to avoid it but you still got to its tail.

Should you have taken 1 O'clock or 2 O'clock instead to be safe (even if H is at 3 O'clcok coming to you)? You probably should, and you probably had done all those earlier that morning. This is one of the many interceptions since early morning and the ordeal would take at least another 2-6 hours that day. Maybe they have videos for you trying hard to avoid collision as well. They are not going to show the public if all the other videos. If not for that over-zealous and over-confident sengoku38 san, no one in the public will be able to even see this video.

Maybe you should have made your own recording. But you cannot afford such gadgets, and were not prepared to bring a video-camera to this trip, After all, you are a poor fisherman trying to make some bugs. You are not coming here for eco-tour.

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