Defense officials have told the Wall Street Journal that all seven missing Sailors from the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a merchant cargo ship, the ACX Crystal, have been found dead.
A statement on the US Navy’s website said that remains of the sailors have been found and were being transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka. The full statement follows:
Number of USS Fitzgerald Sailors’ Remains Found
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) — A number of Sailors’ remains that were missing from the collision between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a merchant ship have been found.
As search and rescue crews gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision this morning, the missing Sailors were located in the flooded berthing compartments. They are currently being transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified.
The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this difficult time. The names of the Sailors will be released after all notifications are made.
A tweet from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Steven S. Giordano said, “Our Navy family is mourning a loss today. Please keep the families of the fallen in your thoughts and prayers, as…”
On Saturday the USS Fitzgerald, a US Navy destroyer collided with a large Philippine flagged merchant ship, the ACX Crystal, off the coast of Japan around 2:30 a.m. local time. The destroyer, as seen from videos and photos, was heavily damaged on the starboard side and was taking on water. The Fitzgerald limped back to Yokosuka Naval Base and arrived at the base 16 hours later.
The Fitzgerald has 330 crew members. No one was hurt on the ACX Crystal. The Crystal is roughly four times larger than the Fitzgerald.
Since the arrival of the Fitzgerald at base, rescue teams had been assessing the damage to the Fitzgerald and trying to reach the flooded compartments.
President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the collision:
The areas that flooded due to the collision were two berthing spaces, a machinery space and a radio room.