Deadly Navy destroyer collision leaves 7 sailors dead after failed rescue mission
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 19, 2017,
Jun 19, 2017, 15:16
One detail already is known: The Fitzgerald's commanding officer, Cmdr. Both Aucoin and the Japanese coast guard, however, said it was too early to determine what led to the collision.
At least three other Navy sailors were injured in the crash. "I am humbled by the bravery and tenacity of the Fitzgerald crew".
Because of the hour when the collision happened, many sailors were sleeping, but a normal bridge crew was on duty, Aucoin said.
Seven Fitzgerald sailors were reported unaccounted for after the collision, and the Japanese Coast Guard launched a search effort, according a release.
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".
The destroyer, nicknamed "the Fighting Fitz" within the Navy, is salvageable, but repairs probably will take months, Aucoin said.
A statement from the United States navy fleet said that the crash caused 'significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room'.
The other six sailors killed in the collision are the following.
The Navy says the ship was damaged above and below the water line. He survived but had to be airlifted to Naval Hospital Yokosuka, where's in a stable condition. "The Navy family comes together during tragic events such as this and I want to thank those who continue to provide around-the-clock assistance to the affected families during these hard days".
"Of course we're nervous and scared and just praying", Rita Schrimsher said by telephone from Athens, Alabama.
"This has been a hard day", Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, the commander of the 7th Fleet.
Masayuki Obara, a Japanese coast guard official, said the coast guard was interviewing the crew of the ACX Crystal to determine, among other things, whether negligent piloting by either side contributed to the collision. "We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance". "I can promise you it will be very thorough and there will be people held to account for this".
The Navy on Sunday released sailors' names.
Her grandson Jackson Schrimsher is a 23-year-old sailor aboard the Fitzgerald.
The water flow into compartments that were berthing areas for 116 of the ship's crew was "tremendous", he said, adding that "there wasn't a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea".
"We will coordinate with Japanese authorities on investigations and will address specific requests for access in accordance with normal procedures", a Navy spokesman said.
The Fitzgerald was returning to a USA naval base in Japan after completing a training exercise with US and Japanese warships.
The ACX Crystal weighs 29,060 tons and is 730 feet long, much larger than the 8,315-ton destroyer.
The Fitzgerald had limited propulsion after suffering damage on the right side below the water line and a USA defense official said there was flooding in three compartments.
But the 300 fearless sailors under his command quickly sprang into action to contain the flooding and save the boat from ending up at the bottom of the ocean - then navigated the damaged ship back into the busy port with only a magnetic compass and backup equipment.