Reported Missing After US Navy Ship Collision Off Japan
Jun 18 2017
The official said the merchant vessel involved in the collision is the ACX Crystal based out the Philippines. The vessel has since docked at a port in Tokyo.
NYK and the ship's owner are cooperating a Japan Coast Guard investigation into the collision, the shipping firm said.
President Donald Trump retweeted an update Saturday from the USA 7th Fleet on the ship's status and the search-and-rescue mission, saying: "Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families".
Several Japanese and USA boats and aircraft have been deployed, with the search continuing into the night.
The Navy said that the collision occurred 56 nautical miles south-west of Yokosuka, home to the 7th Fleet.
The ship's commanding officer, Bryce Benson, was flown by a Japanese helicopter to US Naval Hospital Yokosuka.
USA 7th Fleet Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin said the search was continuing in a statement released almost 24 hours after the USS Fitzgerald, an Aegis guided missile destroyer, collided with the much larger Philippine-flagged merchant vessel 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka.
The other two injured were transferred to the hospital to treat lacerations and bruises, it said.
At the time of the crash, the Fitzgerald was returning to a USA naval base in Japan after completing a training exercise with US and Japanese warships.
Conditions were clear at the time of the collision, though Yutaka Saito of the coast guard said the area is particularly busy with sea traffic.
"This has been a hard day", Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, said in a statement.
The ship, part of an eight-ship squadron based in Yokosuka, had in February completed $21 million worth of upgrades and repairs.
Navy Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, the 7th Fleet's commander, and many family members were on the pier when the stricken Fitzgerald arrived in Yokosuka, according to a release.
The U.S. Navy destroyer collided early Saturday morning with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan, the country's coast guard reported. At around 29,000 tons displacement it is about three times the size of the US warship.
None of the 20 Filipino crewmembers were injured, and the ship was not leaking oil, Nippon Yusen said.
Meanwhile, search and rescue efforts by USA and Japanese aircraft and boats were underway in the area where the vessels collided.
The Pentagon confirms search efforts are underway for the Fitzgerald's seven missing crew members, with help from the Japanese coast guard.
The nighttime collision off Japan left seven U.S. Navy sailors from USS Fitzgerald missing.
Seven Navy sailors were reported missing and the captain and at least two others were injured in the crash which happened just before dawn.
The U.S. destroyer, flanked by two tug boats and other support vessels, was listing to its right as it slowly approached the port.
Footage from Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a person in a stretcher being lifted from the deck to a Japan Coast Guard helicopter.
NHK said the massive 222-meter container vessel made a sharp turn around the time of the crash with the smaller, 154-meter United States warship, but its captain suggested otherwise.