USS Fitzgerald sailors killed during collision identified

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.

The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement Sunday morning local time that a search and rescue effort had ended and that "a number of sailors that were missing" were found in flooded compartments.

The Japanese Coast Guard later on Monday confirmed to the New York Times and other outlets that the collision happened about an hour earlier than believed, and it was investigating whether there was a delay in the reporting of the crash. The incident happened early Saturday morning as numerous crew slept.

Blaming the U.S. ship for causing the collision, the publication said United States vessels should exercise caution irrespective of how big the other vessels are. The remains of the missing sailors were later found in the berthing compartments, which were flooded.

He was evacuated by helicopter and was in a stable condition at a USA navy hospital in Yokosuka, where the Seventh Fleet is based, the navy said.

At a news conference Sunday, Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin of the 7th Fleet described the damage as "extensive".

He said the vessel could have sunk were it not for "heroic efforts" by crew members, which prevented the flooding from "catastrophically spreading" to other parts of the warship.

On a calm and clear night just south of Tokyo Bay, the ACX Crystal carried out a sudden U-turn, roughly 25 minutes before the crash. "Large ships going east change course near Cape Irozaki to avoid reefs in many cases", the sea shipping industry official said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of the crew for what they did to save the ship", he said.

Even though the vessel was listing badly on the starboard side, the crew was able to navigate the damaged destroyer into the heavily-trafficked Yokosuka port with a magnetic compass and backup navigation equipment, Aucoin said.

While photos showed serious damage above the waterline, the container ship also did severe damage below it.

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U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said USS Fitzgerald experienced extensive damage and flooding after a collision with ACX Crystal at about 56 nautical miles off the coast of Honshu, Japan. A medevac was performed on Benson by the Japanese Coast Guard, Aucoin said.

The huge commercial vessel came into port with large scrapes on its bow, but none of its 20 crew were injured.

The USS Fitzgerald's captain, Cmdr.

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 crew had to fight very hard to keep the ship afloat", he said.

The company said there were no injuries on board the ACX Crystal, and no oil spilled from the ship. "There wasn't a lot of time in spaces that were open to the sea".

Aucoin wouldn't speculate on the cause of the collision.

The deceased sailors were from all around the US, Axios reported Monday.

"Probably the bulbous bow of the container ship, which is below the waterline, crashed into the hull of the naval ship", he added, referring to a protuberance at the front of some ships created to reduce wave resistance.

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