Bodies of 7 missing sailors found aboard damaged ship identified

The USS Fitzgerald sailed into port on Saturday evening, listing around 5 degrees, a US Navy spokesman in Yokosuka said. A news release from U.S. Seventh Fleet confirmed that two berthing spaces, an auxiliary machine room and the ship's radio room all flooded.

"I look forward to being with my Fitzgerald family in support of future missions and exercises", Benson said in a Navy statement at the time.

Aucoin said 116 crew members were in two berthing rooms, majority likely resting at the time of the collision.

Mia Sykes of Raleigh, North Carolina, told The Associated Press on Sunday that her 19-year-old son, Brayden Harden, was knocked out of his bunk by the impact, and water immediately began filling the berth, after their destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship four times its size off the Japanese coast.

Following the collision the US Navy's 7th Fleet said five sailors were injured and seven sailors were missing.

The 154-metre (500-foot) Fitzgerald - commissioned in 1995 and deployed in the Iraq war in 2003 - was pulled by a tugboat back to its base on Saturday in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo.

Seven US crew members were reported missing following the incident, which occurred south of Tokyo Bay. "The damage was significant", he said.

The other two were being treated for lacerations and bruises and others injured were being assessed aboard the ship. Most of the damage is below the waterline, including a large gash near the keel, Aucoin said. US aircraft is assisting in the effort, along with several Japanese helicopters and one plane, the 7th Fleet said.The area is particularly busy with sea traffic, said Yutaka Saito of the coast guard.

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Aucoin described the damage and flooding as extensive, including a big puncture under the ship's waterline, and said the crew had to fight to keep the destroyer afloat.

The impact struck berthing compartments that contained space for 116 sailors, and the commanding officer's cabin was destroyed.

"The incident is now under investigation", the statement said.

The 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer and the ACX Crystal, a 29,000-ton container ship collided off Japan's Izu Peninsula. The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have sustained any major structural damage.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK showed aerial footage of the destroyer, which had a large dent in its right, or starboard, side.

I t was unclear how the collision happened.

Minimal damage can be seen at the front of the ACX Crystal.

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.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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