Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Bodies Of US Sailors Found In Flooded Compartments Of Damaged Ship

Bodies Of US Sailors Found In Flooded Compartments Of Damaged Ship

The remains of seven sailors initally reported missing were located in flooded berthing compartments after divers gained access, a statement from the Navy said.

Yokosuka, June 18 (PTI/AFP): A number of missing American sailors have been found dead in flooded areas of a destroyer that collided with a container ship off Japan's coast, the US Navy said today.

It did not specify how many bodies had been found, but Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin later said the search for the missing had ended and no further details would be given until the families of the victims had been informed.

Benson was flown off the crippled ship by helicopter after the accident and was being treated at the naval hospital at the United States naval base at Yosuka, Japan, said Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, 7th Fleet commander, as were two other sailors who were medevaced.

Aucoin said the Fitzgerald is salvageable but that repairs will likely take months.

On Sunday, the navy said the dead United States crew were found by the divers.

The Japanese coast guard said it received an emergency call from the container ship, the ACX Crystal, reporting the collision around 2:20 a.m. local time.

"I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this hard time", he said, praising USA servicemen in Japan under the allies' bilateral security pact.

"An investigation will no doubt be conducted in weeks and moths ahead..." he said.

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All of the ACX Crystal's 20-member Filipino crew were safe, said Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K., which operates the Philippine-flagged ship. The Navy said earlier the ship had about 300 crew on board.

Naval commanders praised sailors for containing flooding, stabilizing the ship and sailing it back to port at the USA naval base in Yokosuka. There were 285 crew on board.

The impact struck berthing compartments that contained space for 116 sailors, and the commanding officer's cabin was destroyed.

The collision badly damaged Fitzgerald's forward starboard side above and below the water line, causing significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room.

At around 29,000 tons displacement, the ship dwarfs the 8,315-ton USA warship.

Japanese authorities were looking into the possibility of "endangerment of traffic caused by professional negligence", Japanese media reported, but it was not clear whether that might apply to either or both of the vessels.

The damage to the destroyer suggests that the container ship, the ACX Crystal, might have slammed into it at a high speed, raising questions about communication between the two vessels in an area where as many as 400 ships pass through every day, according to Japan's coast guard. It was carrying 1,080 containers from the port of Nagoya to Tokyo.

Aircraft and vessels have been looking for the missing personnel since the two ships crashed in the pre-dawn hours Saturday.

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