Seven Sailors Killed as US Navy Destroyer Collides with a Container Ship


The US Navy has identified seven sailors who were killed when their destroyer collided with a container ship in Japanese waters on Saturday.

"As search and rescue crews gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision this morning, the missing Sailors were located in the flooded berthing compartments", the Navy said in a statement Sunday morning local time.

The coast guard initially said the collision occurred at 2:20 a.m., as the Philippine ship had reported it at 2:25 a.m. and said it just happened.

Standing before the severely damaged USS Fitzgerald at the vessel's home port in Yokosuka, Japan on June 18, 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin praised the vessel's crew for their heroic and swift action in response to the destroyer's collision with a commercial ship last week.

Bishop said Sibayan was a cadet in the program all four years of high school, and was a "natural leader".

"The U.S. ship must have issued large-scale warnings" to avoid an accident, he said, noting that investigators should look into whether circumstances allowed the naval ship to change its course.

ACX Crystal was reported to have been travelling at 14.6 knots (27km/h) at the time of the collision. "But I told him, 'There's a reason you're still here and make that count'".

Rehm was inspired to join the Navy by his grandfather, a World War II sailor who took Rehm on tours of military planes and ships when he was a youngster.

An information center with available counselors has been set up at the USA naval base in Yokosuka.

"This has been a hard day", said Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, the commander of the 7th Fleet.

HALETHORPE, Md. (AP) - The father of a Maryland sailor killed on a U.S. Navy destroyer says he's coming to grips with a new reality without his best friend and only son. "And as you can see now, the ship is still listing, so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface".

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"It was impossible that the Aegis ship (Fitzgerald) was unaware" another vessel was approaching, Yamada said.

Most of the damage was below the waterline, including a large gash near the keel, he said.

Two other sailors were also evacuated and treated for lacerations and bruises, while crew were still assessing the other injured.

Conditions were clear at the time of the collision, though the area is particularly busy with sea traffic.

"Sailors and community members from Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, are rallying around the crew and families of USS Fitzgerald", the Commander of US Naval Forces Japan said in a June 19 statement.

There have been several collisions involving large vessels in the area over the past five years and attention is now turning to the investigation into what caused the deadly accident.

The ACX Crystal had 20 crew Filipino crew members aboard and there were no injuries on that vessel, a Japanese Coast Guard official said.

The Japanese coast guard suggested Monday that there was an hour-long delay between the collision of the ACX Crystal and the USS Fitzgerald and the mayday call that reported it.

Mia Sykes, the mother of Fitzgerald crewmember Brayden Harden, told the AP that crewmembers from the two damaged berthing compartments repeatedly dove back into the flooding spaces in an attempt to save their crewmates.

"We have found a number of the remains. of our missing shipmates, and our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those shipmates", he said.