The 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer and the ACX Crystal, a 29,000-ton container ship flagged in the Philippines, collided early Saturday local time off Japan’s Izu Peninsula, officials said.
Seven Fitzgerald sailors were reported unaccounted for after the collision, and the Japanese Coast Guard launched a search effort, according a release.
At a press conference held yesterday at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said that the ship suffered severe damage rapidly flooding three large compartments that included one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew.
The USS Fitzgerald was struck by the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal near the port city of Yokosuka – the home base for the us ship.
A Japanese coast guard official said officials are trying to obtain a device that contains the communication records in order to examine the details of the collision.
Investigators were sure to put the vessels’ trackable movements under a microscope to figure out what set the deadly crash in motion, said Shoji Fujimoto, a maritime safety expert at Japan’s Kobe University.
An information center with available counselors has been set up at the US naval base in Yokosuka.
“An investigation will no doubt be conducted in weeks and months ahead…” he said.
“Our deep thoughts and concerns go out to the families and friends of those who have so tragically lost their lives on the USS Fitzgerald and our hopes for a speedy recovery for those injured and in hospital following the collision”.
“That (1:30 a.m. crash time) is not our understanding”, Flanders told The Associated Press.
Asked about the earlier time cited by the coast guard, Navy spokesman Cmdr.
The Navy saying the bodies of the 7 American sailors killed in the crash have been recovered.
“The collision affected Fitzgerald’s forward starboard side above and below the water line, causing significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room”, according to a statement from USA 7th Fleet. Fitzgerald suffered severe damage but returned to the US base at Yokosuka, Japan under its own power.
Sailors 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; Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, California; Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Maryland; and Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio, were in their bunks asleep when the incident occurred, the United States 7th Fleet reported Monday.
“W$3 e can all be proud of the heroic effort by the crew to tend to the needs of those injured and save the ship from further damage while returning safely to port”, Stackley said.
Two graduates of local high schools were among those killed when the U.S.S. Fitzgerald collided with a freighter off the coast of Japan.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered flags flown at half-staff there in memory of Huynh.
Mia Sykes, a mother of one of the sailors, said that her son informed her that sleeping quarters immediately began taking on water following impact, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Sykes said her son told her that four men in his berth died, including those sleeping on bunks above and below him, while three died in the berth above his. “You have to realize a lot of them are 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds living with guilt”. And as you can see now, the ship is still listing, so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface.