At 2 a.m. on Saturday June 17, the USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippine commercial ship ACX Crystal.
The result of the crash killed one sailor instantly and resulted in 7 other missing sailors. The ship also sustained major damage and many compartments were flooded.
According to the New York Times:
The Navy said the collision inflicted significant damage to the destroyer above and below the water line, flooding berths, a machinery area and the radio room.
Photographs showed the side of the Fitzgerald caved in about one-third of the way back. Among the compartments that flooded were cabins where 116 sailors were sleeping, Admiral Aucoin said.
It wasn’t until the ship was able to return to its home port, the American base at Yokosuka, Japan, that divers were able to locate the 7 missing soldiers so that they could be identified.
The Navy has released names of the 7 sailors who died in Fitzgerald collision; youngest was 19 years old. RIP pic.twitter.com/j3DdZfK2Q8
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 18, 2017
This is a terrible loss of life.
Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, commander of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet stated:
“Heroic efforts prevented the flooding from catastrophically spreading, which could have caused the ship to founder or sink. It could have been much worse.”
The collision occurred early in the morning when most of the crew would have been asleep.