Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Local | By Ada Griffith

Gashed Fitzgerald reaches port as search for sailors continues

Gashed Fitzgerald reaches port as search for sailors continues

The collision had resulted in some flooding and damage to the ship's starboard side. Bryce Benson, the Fitzgerald's commanding officer, has been transferred to a hospital but is reportedly in stable condition, while two sailors have also been taken to a hospital for "lacerations and bruises", the Navy said.

Rescuers forged ahead with their search for seven missing Navy sailors on Saturday as the damaged destroyer Fitzgerald limped into its home port.

"So anxious. Just need to hear she is ok".

"We're going all out in the search to find these missing people... but we still haven't found any clues as to where they might be", a coastguard spokesman said.

Though the Fitzgerald is back in Yokosuka, it remains uncertain as to how long it will take to gain access to the spaces in order to methodically continue the search for the missing, a release said.

Televised media reports showed that the 154 meter-long US guided-missile destroyer had suffered considerable damage to its right side, although the destroyer, part of the USA 7th Fleet, returned to the Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture, about 50 km southwest of Tokyo, unassisted.

No one on the container ship was reported injured.

It was questioning crew members of the ACX Crystal, which is operated by the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen KK, and is treating the incident as a case of possible professional negligence, said Masayuki Obara, a regional coast guard official. "He's okay. Thank you all for the prayers", tweeted Rita Schrimsher of Athens, Alabama, after speaking with her 23-year-old grandson, Jackson Schrimsher, via Facetime.

The U.S. Navy says the USS Fitzger. She says: "It could have been worse so we're grateful".

The Japanese coast guard said it received an emergency call from the Phillipine container ship reporting the collision at around 2:20 a.m.

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The U.S. 7th Fleet said on its Facebook page that the collision was with Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal.

The damage of Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal is seen off Izu Oshima, Japan, after it had collided with the USS Fitzgerald southwest of Yokusuka, Japan.

The Japanese coast guard was on the scene and a U.S. official said United States tugboats and other Navy assets, including aircraft, were on the way.

The US Navy ship had more than 200 sailors aboard, who would have been asleep in their berths at the time of the accident.

Neither of the vessels involved in the collision were in danger of sinking, the Japan Coast Guard said earlier. Now working with the Japanese Coast Guard to conduct a medevac via helicopter for one Sailor.

Live footage shot from a helicopter Saturday morning by Japanese broadcaster NHK showed heavy damage to the mid-right side of the Navy ship, which appeared to be stationary in the water.

The Navy said that the collision occurred 56 nautical miles (103 kilometers) southwest of Yokosuka, home to the 7th Fleet.

"(We) were sailing in the same direction as the USA destroyer was and then collided", he was quoted as saying by Jiji Press news agency.

The Pacific Fleet said the extent of injuries and damage to the Fitzgerald are "being determined", and the incident is under investigation.

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