The seven sailors reported missing after their ship was hit by a merchant vessel, were located on June 17, 2017. Their bodies were discovered in flooded berths.
The USS Fitzgerald suffered significant damage when it collided with the ship, flagging from the Philippines on June 16. In the aftermath of the collision, the Navy destroyer took on water.
After it was towed into port, the search and rescue team successfully breached the damaged areas. Upon gaining access to the berth departments, they discovered the sailors.
According to NBC News, the sailors’ names will not be released until family notification is completed. Personnel at the Yokosuka Naval Hospital will make the identification of the deceased sailors.
The 7th Fleet and a defense representative, who spoke at the briefing, said the sailors’ families would be given the support they need at this tragic time.
The destroyer suffered wreckage both above and below the water line. Flooding and damage affected a radio room, a machine area, and the two berths, where the sailors were located.
There were others injured on the Naval vessel, who were treated for non-critical wounds. According to NBC News, the ACX Crystal, the other ship involved in the accident, reported no injuries among their 20 crewmen.
At this time, the investigation of the collision is still in process. This is an ongoing story. The Public Slate will provide updates once they are released.
By Cathy Milne
NBC News: Bodies of 7 Missing U.S. Sailors Found in Destroyer Damaged in Collision
Featured and Top Image by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class John Herman Courtesy of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License