Bodies of 7 missing U.S. sailors found in destroyer damaged in collision

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

The commander of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet says that search and rescue efforts are over for the seven sailors missing after a destroyer collided with a merchant ship in waters off Japan.

"U.S. and Japanese support from the Navy, Maritime Self Defense Force and Coast Guard are in the area to ensure that the Sailors on USS Fitzgerald have the resources they need to stabilize their ship". They were trapped with five others in a flooded berthing compartment after the crash.

Those dead are gunner's mate seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, yeoman 3rd class Shingo Alexander Douglass, sonar technician 3rd class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, gunner's mate 2nd Ccass Noe Hernandez, fire controlman 2nd class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, personnel specialist 1st class Xavier Alec Martin and fire controlman 1st class Gary Leo Rehm Jr.

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The U.S. Navy says the search is continuing for seven missing American sailors in the sea off Japan, after a collision between a Navy destroyer and a huge cargo ship.

"The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this hard time", the Seventh Fleet said. He said the remains have been transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka.

The crew stopped the ship from foundering or sinking and got it back to port, Aucoin said.

Three people were medically evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka after the collision, including the ship's commanding officer, Commander Bryce Benson, who was reported to be in stable condition, the Navy said.

The U.S. Navy said the collision happened at about 2:30 a.m. local time (1730 GMT Friday), while the Japanese Coast Guard said it was 1:30 a.m. local time.

The USS Fitzgerald's captain, Cmdr.

The other two were being treated for lacerations and bruises.

The coast guard questioned crew members of the ACX Crystal, and is treating the incident as a case of possible professional negligence, said Masayuki Obara, a regional coast guard official. He said the destroyer was hit on the side and there was a significant impact.

All of the ACX Crystal's 20-member Filipino crew were safe, said Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K., which operates the Philippine-flagged ship. The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have sustained any major structural damage.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent a sympathy message Sunday to President Trump.

Abe said in his message to Trump on Sunday, "We are struck by deep sorrow", expressing condolences and sympathy "straight from my heart" to the victims and the injured. "I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this hard time", praising USA servicemen in Japan under the allies' bilateral security pact. He said he would order a full and thorough investigation.

"The only other day I have been so overwhelmed with joy to hear my son's voice was the day he was born", Adkison said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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