The 10,000-ton USS Fitzgerald 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.
Early Saturday morning a Philippine-flagged merchant ship collided into the side of a US warship off the coast of Japan.
The Navy said their remains were located in flooded berthing compartments, after divers gained access to the spaces that were damaged in the collision.
The Coast Guard originally said the collision occurred at 2:20 a.m. because when the container ship reported the incident it at 2:25 a.m., it said the collision had just happened.
Speaking in reference to the accident on Monday, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, told reporters that “our deepest sympathies are with the families of these sailors“.
The USS Fitzgerald was struck by the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal near the port city of Yokosuka – the home base for the USA ship.
The 24-year-old sailor, of Halethorpe, Maryland, followed in his father’s footsteps and was quickly rising in the ranks, said Darrold Martin, who referred to his son as his best friend. The Coast Guard later changed the collision time to 1:30 a.m. after interviewing crewmembers aboard the container ship.
Seven men died in the incident, the Navy confirmed.
“As you can see now the ship is still listing and so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface”.
The 20 crew members on the container ship, chartered by the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen, were reported unharmed.
Under maritime law, the container ship had an obligation to avoid a collision if it was trying to overtake the destroyer from behind.
In a Twitter message issued yesterday, President Donald J. Trump said his “thoughts and prayers [are] with the sailors of the USS Fitzgerald and their families”. A machine room and two compartments housing over one hundred members of the crew flooded, and the “water flow was tremendous”, Aucoin revealed.
Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government was investigating with the cooperation of the US side and every effort would be made to maintain regional deterrence in the face of North Korea, which has recently conducted a series of missile tests.
Richardson was also planning to meet with Japanese Marine Self-Defence Force and coast guard officials to express his appreciation for assisting in search efforts, Kyodo News reported.
Kotani said the Fitzgerald was hit on its “softest part”, the bottom, by the container ship’s hardest part, the bow.
“Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the sailors”, said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. “I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this hard time“, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday in response to the accident at sea.
The victims might have been killed by the impact of the crash or drowned in the flooding, said Navy spokesman Lt. Paul Newell, who led news media on a visit to get a first-hand look at the mangled vessel.