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Navy sailors made tough call to seal flooding ship compartments, unclear if survivors were inside

The sailors either had to close off the flooded areas of the ship, or they feared the entire destroyer might go down, according to three active or former members of the Navy familiar with the incident.

It is not yet clear whether the sailors had already died by the time their shipmates decided to contain the flooding — and it may never be known. “They were in a situation where they had to make tough choices,” said one member of the Navy with knowledge of the crisis, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

35 Other Related Articles

New York Times -
As Sailors’ Bodies Are Flown to U.S., Fitzgerald Inquiries Intensify

As the bodies of the seven sailors who died aboard the American destroyer Fitzgerald last weekend were flown back to the United States from Japan on Tuesday, multiple investigations of the fatal collision with a container ship began in earnest.

The ACX Crystal, the 29,000-ton Philippine-registered ship that collided with the Fitzgerald off Japan, docked in Yokohama on Monday so that its cargo of household goods and machine parts could be unloaded.


New York Times -
7 Sailors Emerged From Diverse Backgrounds to Pursue a Common Cause

The seven sailors who died when the destroyer Fitzgerald collided with a container ship last weekend were a snapshot of the nation they served: an immigrant from the Philippines whose father served in the Navy before him; a poor teenager whose Guatemalan family came north eager for opportunity; a native of Vietnam hoping to help his family; a firefighter’s son from a rural crossroads in the rolling green fields of Virginia.


CBS News -
Stories of U.S. sailors killed in destroyer-container ship collision

Among the seven U.S. Navy sailors who died in the Saturday collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship off Japan were an Ohio man expecting to retire soon, a Maryland man who was his father's best friend, and a former volunteer firefighter in his Virginia hometown.

On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted, "My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the 7 U.S. Navy sailors of the #USSFitzgerald and their families."


Washington Post -
7 sailors died on board the USS Fitzgerald. Here are their stories.

The grief swelled after divers found seven bodies in the wreckage of the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan this weekend.

As rescuers searched for 37-year-old Gary Rehm Jr., a shipmate stayed on board the listing Fitzgerald and texted reports to his wife in the United States, Rehm’s mother-in-law told The Washington Post. A woman told the Associated Press that four of those killed slept in the same room as her son, who had repeatedly dived into the flood trying to save them.


CBS News -
USS Fitzgerald collision wasn't reported for nearly an hour, Japan says

Japan's coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported.

The ACX Crystal collided with the USS Fitzgerald off Japan's coast, killing seven of the destroyer's crew of nearly 300. The ships collided early Saturday morning, when the Navy said most of the 300 sailors on board would have been sleeping.


Washington Post -
Investigators question how a Navy destroyer and a container ship collided

 A U.S. Coast Guard investigation team arrived in Japan Monday to start piecing together the sequence of events that led to the weekend collision between a Navy destroyer and a fully loaded container ship four times its size.

The investigators will be questioning the crew of the USS Fitzgerald, the Aegis guided missile destroyer that collided with the ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged container ship, just off the Izu peninsula.


Fox News -
US Navy identifies deceased sailors found inside USS Fitzgerald

The U.S. Navy identified Sunday seven sailors who were lost aboard the USS Fitzgerald after a Japanese merchant vessel struck the warship miles off the Japanese coast.

After stabilizing the USS Fitzgerald, the destroyer USS Dewey had joined other American and Japanese vessels and aircraft in the search for the missing sailors. The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement that the crash damaged two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room.


CBS News -
U.S. Navy identifies 7 sailors who died in destroyer collision

The search for seven U.S. Navy sailors missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship off Japan was called off Sunday after they were found dead in the ship's flooded compartments, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet, described the damage and flooding as extensive, including a big puncture under the waterline.


Fox News -
US Navy calls off search for 7 missing sailors; several bodies found inside the destroyer

The search for seven missing U.S. Navy sailors was called off Sunday after several bodies were recovered from the flooded compartments of the destroyer.

After stabilizing the USS Fitzgerald, the destroyer USS Dewey had joined other American and Japanese vessels and aircraft in the search for the missing sailors. The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement that the crash damaged two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Deadly Collision Crushed Captain’s Cabin of USS Fitzgerald

YOKOSUKA, Japan—As most of its crew slept on Friday night, the USS Fitzgerald passed through one of Japan’s busiest shipping lanes just south of Tokyo, a watch crew assigned to guide its passage.

In a period of seconds, a 29,000 ton cargo ship loaded with containers plowed into its right side, crushing a large section of the destroyer’s main structure, including the captain’s cabin and sleeping quarters for 116 sailors below the waterline.


CBS News -
Search for 7 missing U.S. Navy sailors called off after bodies found

The search for seven U.S. Navy sailors missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship off Japan was called off Sunday after several bodies were found in the ship's flooded compartments, including sleeping quarters.

Navy divers found "a number of" bodies in the ship Sunday, a day after it returned to the 7th Fleet's home base in Yokosuka, Japan, with the help of tug boats. Aucoin, speaking at a news conference at the base, wouldn't say how many bodies were recovered, pending notification of next of kin.


New York Times -
Sleeping Sailors on U.S.S. Fitzgerald Awoke to a Calamity at Sea

Hundreds of sailors were asleep in their berths on board the United States Navy destroyer Fitzgerald early on Saturday when a cargo ship struck it broadside off Japan.

The cargo ship was heading toward Tokyo at the time of the collision, after making a stop on Friday at Nagoya, Japan.


ABC News -
The Latest: Japan's leader sends sympathy message to Trump

The Latest on the U.S. Navy ship collision off the Japanese coast (all times local):. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent a sympathy message to President Donald Trump over the fatal collision involving a U.S. Navy destroyer.

Abe said in his message to Trump on Sunday, "We are struck by deep sorrow," expressing condolences and sympathy "straight from my heart" to the victims and the injured. Abe wrote, "I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this difficult time," praising U.S. servicemen in Japan under the allies' bilateral security pact.


Washington Post -
‘Traumatic’ collision that killed sailors almost sank destroyer, Navy says

A U.S. Navy destroyer came close to sinking after a “traumatic” collision off the coast of Japan, the commander of the Seventh Fleet said Sunday, after the bodies of the missing sailors were found in the berthing compartments of the stricken vessel.

Missing U.S. sailors found dead after collision with merchant ship off coast of Japan. 7 U.S. Navy sailors missing off Japan’s coast after destroyer collides with container ship. The Navy thought this sailor was lost at sea.


The Guardian -
USS Fitzgerald: bodies of some missing sailors found in stricken ship

The bodies of some of the seven US sailors who went missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship near Japan have been recovered from flooded areas of their vessel, but an unknown number remain unaccounted for.

It is unclear whether the missing crew members are trapped inside the USS Fitzgerald – more than 24 hours after it collided with the Philippine-registered ACX Crystal about 100km off the east coast of Japan – or if they had been swept into the sea.


CBS News -
Bodies of missing U.S. sailors found after destroyer collision, Navy says

Bodies of missing sailors have been found in the flooded berthing compartments of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald, one day after it collided with a merchant ship off the Japanese coast, the U.S. Navy said in a statement on Saturday.

Yoko Kato, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy in Yokosuka, told the Associated Press that not all seven bodies were recovered. The bodies are currently being transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified, the Navy said.


NBC News -
Bodies of 7 missing U.S. sailors found in damaged USS Fitzgerald

The bodies of seven U.S. sailors missing after a Navy destroyer collided with a container ship off Japan were found in flooded berthing compartments, the U.S. 7th Fleet and a defense official said Saturday.

President Donald Trump said in a Tweet earlier Saturday: "Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families."


ABC News -
Missing sailors found dead inside Navy destroyer that collided with container ship

The seven sailors that were missing following a collision between a U.S. Navy ship and a merchant ship have been found dead, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine container ship off the coast of Japan in the early hours of Saturday morning local time, according to the Navy's 7th Fleet. The Fitzgerald was operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, when it hit the container ship at approximately 2:30 a.m.


LA Times -
Bodies of 7 missing sailors found inside wrecked Navy ship after failed search at sea

The bodies of seven missing U.S. sailors have been found aboard the guided-missile destroyer that collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan, the Navy said late Saturday.

7:50 p.m.: This article was updated with the confirmation that the sailors’ bodies had been found, and with staff reporting.


NBC News -
Search continues for 7 missing U.S. sailors after destroyer collision

American and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels continued to search for seven U.S. sailors missing after a destroyer collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Japan a day earlier.

A U.S. P-8 Poseidon aircraft as well as two Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopters and a P-3 Orion aircraft were involved in the search for the missing sailors, the 7th Fleet said.


Global News -
7 missing and several injured after US destroyer collides with Philippine container ship

U.S. and Japanese vessels and aircraft searched Saturday for seven American sailors who were missing after their Navy destroyer collided before dawn with a container ship four times its size off the coast of Japan.

The Philippine-flagged container ship was berthed at Tokyo’s Oi wharf, where officials began questioning crew members about the cause of the nighttime crash. 7 missing as U.S. Navy destroyer, Philippine merchant vessel collide off Japan. After helping stabilize the USS Fitzgerald, the destroyer USS Dewey joined other American and Japanese vessels and aircraft in the search for the missing sailors.


Fox News -
USS Fitzgerald: Massive search underway for 7 missing sailors after collision

After stabilizing the USS Fitzgerald, the destroyer USS Dewey joined other American and Japanese vessels and aircraft in the search for the missing sailors.

The search for seven US sailors lost at sea after a Navy destroyer collided with a container ship four times its size continued off the coast of Japan. The USS Fitzgerald was back at its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo by sunset Saturday.


Reuters -
Seven sailors missing after U.S. Navy destroyer collides with container ship off Japan

Three aboard the destroyer had been medically evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, including the ship's commanding officer, Cmdr.

The USS Fitzgerald sailed into port on Saturday evening but search and rescue efforts by U.S. and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels were continuing for the seven missing sailors, the Navy said. The other two were being treated for lacerations and bruises, while other injured were being assessed aboard the ship, it said.


New York Times -
Rescuers Search for 7 Sailors as Damaged U.S. Destroyer Reaches Port

Seven Navy sailors were missing on Saturday after an American destroyer collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan, the Navy said.

Rescue teams spent the day searching for the sailors as the crew of the destroyer, the Fitzgerald, fought to contain water pouring through its badly damaged hull. By Saturday night, the Fitzgerald had returned to a nearby American naval base in Japan, aided by tugboats, the Navy said.


Washington Post -
U.S. and Japan launch air-and-sea search for 7 missing U.S. sailors

U.S. and Japanese forces joined in air-and-sea search missions Saturday for seven American sailors missing after their Navy destroyer and a much-larger container ship collided off the coast of Japan.

Bryce Benson, were evacuated from the damaged vessel and are being treated at the U.S. naval hospital at Yokosuka, the home of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet. Three of the Fitzgerald’s crew, including the destroyer’s commanding officer, Cmdr.


LA Times -
7 reported missing after U.S. Navy ship collides with merchant ship off Japan

Seven U.S. sailors are missing after a guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan, according to U.S. officials.

For former U.S. Special Forces operative turned aid worker, a dramatic rescue in Mosul. Tiny Qatar refuses to bend on foreign policy despite a blockade by other Persian Gulf nations


BBC -
USS Fitzgerald crash: Race to find seven missing navy crew

A major search operation is under way for seven missing US sailors after their ship collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan.

The Navy ship's starboard side was heavily damaged in the collision, but the vessel later managed to slowly return to its base in Yokosuka, with the assistance of US navy tug boats. The collision occurred near Yokosuka, which is home to the US 7th Fleet that comprises up to 80 submarines and ships, including the USS Fitzgerald.


CBS News -
7 sailors missing from USS Fitzgerald after collision off Japanese coast

Seven U.S. Navy sailors are missing following a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The seven sailors were thought to have been thrown into the sea or possibly trapped inside damaged sections of the destroyer, said Japanese coast guard spokesman Yoshihito Nakamura. local time about 56 nautical miles off the coast of Yokosuka, Japan, which is home to the 7th Fleet.


BBC -
USS Fitzgerald crash: Seven navy crew missing off Japan

However, the USS Fitzgerald is one of the most advanced warships in the world - with highly sophisticated radars systems.

The coastguard said the ACX Crystal container ship carried a Filipino flag and weighed just under 30,000 tonnes, about three times that of the USS Fitzgerald. Later will come the investigation into how one of the world's most sophisticated warships failed to avoid colliding with a 30,000-tonne cargo ship on a calm, clear night.


New York Times -
U.S. Destroyer Fitzgerald Is Damaged in Collision Off Japan

Seven Navy sailors were missing on Saturday after a United States destroyer collided with a Philippine merchant vessel off the coast of Japan, the Navy said.

“Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the sailors,” said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the United States Pacific Fleet.


CBS News -
U.S. calls for aid after USS Fitzgerald collides with Japanese vessel

The U.S. Navy's USS Fitzgerald has collided with a Japanese merchant vessel, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The U.S. Navy says the USS Fitzgerald suffered damage below the water line on its starboard side after it collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship. The Navy says the USS Dewey, medical assistance and two Navy tugs are being dispatched as quickly as possible.


Washington Post -
U.S. Navy destroyer collides with container ship near Japan, suffers damage

A U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan early Saturday morning, causing significant damage and flooding.

The Fitzgerald was 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, the home of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, when it collided with a loaded container ship at about 2:30 a.m. Local broadcaster NHK reported that seven sailors were missing, while the U.S. Navy said one sailor was being medically evacuated.


NBC News -
U.S. Navy vessel collides with a merchant ship southwest of Japan

A U.S. Navy vessel collided with a merchant ship southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, on Friday, and officials were trying to determine whether everyone is accounted for and the extent of the injuries.

A U.S. Navy official said the bridge was damaged in the collision so communication with the ship is limited and difficult. "US and Japanese support from the Navy, Maritime Self Defense Force and Coast Guard are in the area to ensure that the Sailors on USS Fitzgerald have the resources they need to stabilize their ship," Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said in a statement.


Global News -
Sailor injured as U.S. Navy destroyer, Philippine merchant vessel collide off Japan

One injured U.S. sailor was evacuated from a U.S. Navydestroyer and taken to the hospital by a Japanese coast guard helicopter after the U.S. vessel collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel off Japan, the U.S. Navy‘s 7th fleet said on Friday.

Earlier, the U.S. Navy said one of its destroyers, the USS Fitzgerald, had collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, in the dead of night.


The Guardian -
US navy destroyer collides with merchant ship off coast of Japan

A US navy destroyer has suffered some flooding and damage after colliding with a merchant vessel southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, the navy said on Friday.

Situated at the approach to Tokyo bay, Yokosuka and the waters to its south are a busy commercial waterway plied by commercial vessels sailing to and from Japan*s two biggest container ports in Tokyo and Yokohama.



“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte