Remains Of Missing Sailors Found Inside USS Fitzgerald
This is so sad.
According to NY Daily News reports, the bodies of several sailors have been found by search and rescue crews early Sunday following a collision between the U.S. missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a massive cargo ship ACX Crystal that happened in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Wall Street Journal reported all seven missing sailor’s bodies had been located, but a statement from the Navy said only “a number of” remains were found.
Three crew members, including the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, were airlifted from the vessel by Japanese military helicopters during the ship’s 16-hour trip back to Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo.
All three sailors are awake and will remain under observation at the hospital until further notice,” the Navy said in a statement.
The Japanese coast guard said it received an emergency call from the Philippine container ship reporting the collision at around 2:20 a.m.
The Fitzgerald suffered extensive damage above and beneath the waterline on its starboard side.
The crash damaged two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet.
Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said most of the ship’s 200 crew members were asleep at the time of impact and there was little time to react.
“It was traumatic,” Aucoin said at a press conference Sunday.
“It was a significant impact that the crew had to fight very hard to keep the ship afloat,” Aucoin said, earlier commending the Fitzgerald sailors for their bravery.
The Fitzgerald’s captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was airlifted early Saturday to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka and was in stable condition with a head injury, the Navy said.
Two other crew members suffered cuts and bruises and were evacuated.
There were no reported injuries on the container ship, which is operated by the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K.
The bow of the massive 730-foot-long long ship was dented and showed a few scrapes.
The incident is being treated as a case of possible professional negligence, said Masayuki Obara, a regional coast guard official.
That container ship was FOUR times the size of the navy vessel. With over 200 sailors onboard, it’s amazing that more people weren’t badly injured or killed.
Prayers up for the families of those affected.