Navy halts search for missing sailors after bodies found
Navy halts search for missing sailors after bodies found
US Navy chief pledges full probe into deadly destroyer collision
19 Giugno, 2017, 06:31
YOKOSUKA, Japan - 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 missingsailors were found in the berthing compartments of the stricken vessel. And as you can see now, the ship is still listing, so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface.
Search crews had to work their way through the extensive damage to the Fitzgerald's starboard side before they found the sailors, the Navy said.
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. He was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka and is said to be in a stable condition.
The Navy says in a statement that searchers had gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision.
USS Fitzgerald, aided by tug boats, returned to Yokosuka at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday. Aucoin, speaking at a news conference at the base, wouldn't say how many bodies were recovered, pending notification of next of kin.
The destroyer has a crew of about 300 and most were asleep when the ship collided early Saturday with the Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal that was more than three times larger. "I can't tell you how proud I am of the crew for what they did to save the ship", he said.
Three U.S. sailors, including the Fitzgerald's commanding officer, Cmdr.
The bodies of the sailors are now being transferred to a naval hospital on US soil where they will be identified and at that point, their names will be released. Bryce Benson, and two other crew members were injured but conscious, the Navy said.
The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped, and accident investigators from the Japanese transport ministry found further damage below its waterline.
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.
Obara said the coast guard was interviewing the crew of the Crystal to determine whether negligent piloting by either side contributed to the collision.
Vice Adm. Aucoin wouldn't speculate on the cause of the collision in an area busy with sea traffic.
Those who did not survive might have killed by the impact of the crash or drowned by the flooding, Navy spokesman Lieutenant Paul Newell said. Most of the damage is below the waterline, including a large gash near the keel, Aucoin said.
None of the 20 crew members aboard the container ship, all Filipino, were injured, and the ship was not leaking oil, Nippon Yusen said.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a message to U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday saying he was "in deep sorrow" over the Fitzgerald incident.
"Families of the deceased are now being alerted and provided the help they need during this challenging time", the 7th Fleet stated.
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