Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Mother: Son Tried To Save Navy Shipmates After Collision

Mother: Son Tried To Save Navy Shipmates After Collision

The U.S. Navy identified Monday morning the seven sailors who were found dead in the flooded sleeping compartments of the USS Fitzgerald, the Navy destroyer involved in a collision with a massive merchant ship early Saturday off the coast of Japan.

The 8,315 tonne United States guided-missile destroyer, which suffered considerable damage to its right side in the collision, is part of the USA 7th Fleet and has returned to the Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture, about 50 kilometers southwest of Tokyo.

Mr Stackley promised to "fully investigate" the cause of the collision at about 2.20am on Saturday between the Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship four times its size, as numerous crew slept.

Aucoin said the cabin of the Fitzgerald's captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was airlifted from the ship's deck to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka with a head injury.

According to the Guardian, Aucoin said that they were indebted to the affected families, adding that he would lead an inquiry to unearth the cause of the crash.

'Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families.

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Crew members from the destroyer USS Dewey stabilized the flooding on the Fitzgerald, and American sailors and the Japanese Coast Guard continued to search for the missing sailors. "They had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface".

Water was being pumped out of flooded areas and it was unclear how long it would take to get into the crushed mid-right side of the ship once it was at the pier in Yokosuka, the statement said.

The destroyer still has a human crew, however, most of which was likely asleep at around 2:30 a.m. local time when it collided with the Crystal.

The Navy, Japanese maritime defense vessels and the coast guard were working to stabilize the destroyer as it headed to shore, said Navy chief Adm. John Richardson. The Crystal is about four times larger than the Fitzgerald. 'We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance'.

Damaged part of USS Fitzgerald is seen at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo Sunday, June 18, 2017.

Aucoin said the final toll was not being released "out of respect for their families".

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Four hundred ships a day sail through this gulf toward Japan's biggest port, and the traffic, the scattering of islands, and the lights on land can make navigation extremely hard. "We do not know what decisions the men and women who were standing watch aboard the destroyer made - or failed to make - that could have averted the danger", he said.

Aikawa said the USA ship is partially flooded because of damage.

Photos showed the container ship with minor damage to its bow, while the Fitzgerald appeared to have extensive damage midship on its right, or starboard, side, just below its bridge.

The sailors, aged between 19 and 37, were reported missing after Saturday's predawn collision which triggered a major US-Japanese search operation.

NYK and the ship's owner are cooperating with a Japan coast guard investigation into the collision, the shipping firm said.

He said in a statement,"We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our fellow shipmates".

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