Large ships I have been on have the following working on the bridge at a minimum:
- One commanding officer who is in charge of navigation (Master, First Officer, Second Officer, etc.)
- One Quartermaster who is steering / monitoring course/heading
- One Quartermaster as lookout
Closed loop communication is standard in a maritime environment as well. (i.e. lookout tells CO "Container ship 2km off our starboard bow". CO repeats the message back as affirmation.)
A fancy US Navy boat would have multiple radars, multiple AIS systems and multiple GPS systems. How things like this tragic accident is a growing field of study commonly referred to as Human Factors.
For example. Billy the lookout assumed the CO knew there was a cargo ship off their starboard bow and that the person steering the boat had been told how to properly react by the CO. By the time the communication breakdowns became apparent, it was too late.
Note that container ships and modern navy ships are quite fast. Most container ships can move 25 knots over ground. The USS Fitzgerald was apparently capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots. Those are fast speeds by maritime standards, and much faster than our local ferries, as a comparison.