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Seven crew members missing after Navy destroyer collides with ship

18 June 2017

"Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the Sailors", Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a statement. Bryce Benson, was airlifted to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka and was in stable condition, the 7th Fleet said in a statement.

"The USS Fitzgerald suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline", the Navy said in a statement.

Seven US Navy sailors are missing after their ship USS Fitzgerald collided with a container vessel off the coast of Japan.

The USS Fitzgerald sailed into port on Saturday evening but search and rescue efforts by US and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels were continuing for the seven missing sailors, the Navy said.

The 7th Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin thanked the Japanese Coast guard in a post on the fleet's Facebook page, adding: "We are committed to ensuring the safe return of the ship to port in Yokosuka".

The Navy said that the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

Water was being pumped from aboard the Navy ship.

The Japan Coast Guard said it had sent patrol vessels and an airplane to the site of the collision and Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force has dispatched a helicopter to search for the seven missing crew members.

NHK also described the other vessel as a Philippine merchant ship, and the United States 7th Fleet tweeted that it was the ACX Crystal, a 29,000 ton container vessel.

The crash occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, and Japan's coast guard was reportedly on the scene to assist conducting medical evacuations.

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The cause of the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and the 29,000-ton ACX Crystal is now unknown, but container ship collisions are not unknown. She said she spoke with her 23-year-old grandson Jackson Schrimsher and that "it could have been worse so we're grateful", The Associated Press reported.

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.

Japan's Kyodo News service says the Japanese coast guard is investigating the incident with the U.S. Navy and plans to question the crew members of the ACX Crystal.

USA and Japanese military ships continued to scour the waters near the crash site for sign of the seven missing soldiers.

A U.S. P-8 Poseidon aircraft is working in concert with two Japanese military helicopters and a Japanese P-3 Orion aircraft to search the area, according to a release.

A US Navy destroyer and a Filipino container ship collided last night (Friday) near the Japanese shore.

A myriad of information is being analyzed on the cause of the collision, sources close to the matter have said, such as the exact locations of the two vessels, the speed they were traveling at, their routes, their radar and other surveillance capabilities, as well as the weather conditions at the time.

The USS Fitzgerald's captain, Cmdr.

The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have sustained any major structural damage. It is unclear how fast the destroyer was traveling when it and the merchant ship collided.

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