US Navy sailors' bodies found on stricken ship, some still missing

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Giugno 27, 2017

Seven sailors were previously reported missing, although officials have not yet said how many bodies were recovered from the USS Fitzgerald.

The 7th Fleet and a defense representative, who spoke at the briefing, said the sailors' families would be given the support they need at this tragic time.

A US Navy spokesman in Yokosuka said the USS Fitzgerald sailed into port on Saturday evening, listing around 5 degrees.

A United States destroyer has returned to port after a collision with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Japan badly damaged the vessel and left seven sailors missing.

Seven sailors had been missing for more than 24 hours after the accident that caused heavy damage to the USS Fitzgerald, caving in part of its right side and flooding berthing spaces and the radio room.

Cmdr. Bryce Benson, the destroyer's commanding officer, was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka by a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter. Benson was taken to the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka.

In the middle of the night, a Filipino container ship - nearly three times the size of the destroyer - crashed into the side of the Fitzgerald.

At the time of the collision, most of the crew were probably asleep.

On Saturday, President Trump posted a message on Twitter to express his concern for the impacted sailors and thank Japan for its assistance.

Aucoin said repairs to the ship could take months, and hopefully would be done in less than a year.

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

In May, the U.S. navy's USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel, but both ships were able to operate under their own power.

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

The US Navy destroyer hit a Philippine merchant vessel southwest of the Japanese city of Yokosuka on Saturday. He said a search and rescue effort was ended.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of the crew and what they did to save this ship", he added.

The Japanese coast guard said it received an emergency call from the container ship, the ACX Crystal, reporting the collision around 2:20 a.m. (17:20 GMT Friday).

The merchant vessel that collided with the Fitzgerald is the ACX crystal, a container ship.

Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen said the 20 Filipino crew were safe, but Japanese coastguard official Masayuki Obara said they were being questioned over possible professional negligence.

The 29,000 tonne container ship, ASX Crystal, was significantly larger than the 8,000 tonne guided missile destroyer.

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