This doesn’t happen often.
Collisions on the high seas between U.S. Navy craft and other vessels is hardly commonplace and when 7 servicemen disappear after a particularly violent collision, families will have questions.
According to a Reuters report, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship that was more than three times its size.
This happened off the coast of eastern Japan on Saturday morning and now, search and rescue is trying to find the 7 missing U.S. sailors.
The Fitzgerald is an “Aegis guided missile destroyer” and for some reason, it hit the much larger merchant vessel about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka.
Though details remain sketchy, here’s what we know so far:
“Three aboard the destroyer had been medically evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, including the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, who was reported to be in stable condition, the Navy said.
The other two were being treated for lacerations and bruises, while other injured were being assessed aboard the ship, it said.
The USS Fitzgerald sailed into port on Saturday evening but search and rescue efforts by U.S. and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels were continuing for the seven missing sailors, the Navy said.
Their names are being withheld until the families have been notified, it added.”
At this time, the Navy is “unclear” on how the accident happened. There will have to be a thorough investigation before we get any answers.
As you can see by the damage sustained to the destroyer, this wasn’t a love-tap on the water.
This was a pretty big collision that caused “significant damage” and resulted in the flooding of two berthing spaces and other areas of the ship.
The destroyer was left with limited propulsion and the Japanese Coast Guard says the Fitzgerald had to be towed back to Yokosuka by tugboat.
Here’s hoping they find the 7 missing sailors and they’re okay because frankly, this sounds like a terrible situation and we’re hoping and praying it gets resolved quickly.