USS Fitzgerald Sailors
By: Legacy Staff
1 year ago
7 U.S. sailors have been found dead after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship on Friday, according to multiple news sources.
The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement Sunday morning local time that "a number of sailors that were missing" were found in flooded compartments. The fleet commander said that the search and rescue effort has ended. A defense official told NBC News that the bodies of all seven sailors have been found.
"I ask that you [keep] your thoughts and prayers for the family members and the crew," U.S. 7th Fleet commander Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin said at a press conference Sunday afternoon local time.
The USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippine-flagged merchant ship the ACX Crystal at around 2:30 a.m. Saturday local time (1:30 p.m. Friday ET) about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, officials said.
Vice Admiral Aucoin said "The crew had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface. So it was traumatic," Aucoin said, calling the crew’s efforts heroic. "I can't tell you how proud I am of the crew for what they did to save the ship," he said.
Rear Admiral Charles Williams, commander of Task Force 70, in a statement earlier praised the "extraordinary courage" of the Fitzgerald's sailors in stabilizing the ship and sailing the vessel back to Yokosuka under "exceptionally trying circumstances."
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