The US Navy has identified seven sailors who were killed when their destroyer collided with a container ship in Japanese waters on Saturday.
Aucoin declined to say how numerous seven missing sailors had been recovered, but Japanese media said all had died.
The deceased sailors are: Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Virginia; Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego; Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Connecticut; Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas; Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, California; Xavier Alex Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Maryland; and Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio.
"A significant portion of the crew was sleeping" when the destroyer collided with the Philippine-flagged container ship, destroying the commander's cabin, he said.
It is reported that following the collision many in the crew kept diving into flooded parts of the ship attempting to rescue fellow sailors, worked to keep the destroyer afloat or manned the guns thinking the collision may have been an attack.
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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. Most of the damage is below the waterline, including a large gash near the keel, Aucoin said. The USS Fitzgerald could have foundered, or even sunk, but for the crew's desperate efforts to save the ship, he said. And as you can see now, the ship is still listing, so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface.
The U.S. Navy says the bodies of sailors who went missing in the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship have been found aboard the stricken destroyer.
This incident was the greatest loss of life on a U.S. Navy vessel since the USS Cole was bombed in Yemen's Aden harbor in 2000, when 17 sailors were killed and 39 injured. Three people were medically evacuated to the US Naval Hospita, including the ship's commanding officer. The other two sailors suffered lacerations and bruises. Most congestion occurs in the early hours of the day, and fast currents make it a tricky area that requires experience and skill to navigate. No need to remember your password or log in, just click.
The ACX Crystal weighs 29,060 tons and is 222 metres (730 feet) long, much larger than the 8,315-ton destroyer. Aerial images aired on Japanese television appeared to show the bow on its left side was dented but the vessel did not appear to have any major damage.
Japan's coastguard is conducting an investigation into the accident - including interviewing the Japanese-owned container ship's Filipino crew - although the U.S. has primary jurisdiction in probing accidents involving military personnel. Footage from Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a sharp horizontal cut across the bow area, which looked like a shark's mouth. The area sees heavy maritime traffic, with 400 to 500 vessels crossing it daily.
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The container ship was seen making a U-turn before the collision on some ship trackers, a move that has raised questions about what happened.
The official said the merchant vessel involved in the collision is the ACX Crystal based in the Philippines.
NYK and the ship's owner are cooperating with a Japan coast guard investigation into the collision, the shipping firm said.
Abe said in his message to Trump on Sunday, "We are struck by deep sorrow", expressing condolences and sympathy "straight from my heart" to the victims and the injured. "I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this hard time".
"The only other day I have been so overwhelmed with joy to hear my son's voice was the day he was born", Adkison said.
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