Saturday, June 17, 2017

U.S. Destroyer No Match for Philippine Merchant Vessel

US Destroyer Fitzgerald badly damaged
US Destroyer Fitzgerald badly damaged

US Destroyer Fitzgerald badly damaged

US Destroyer Fitzgerald badly damaged

About seven u.s. Navy sailors were missing on Saturday after a United States destroyer the "Fitzgerald" collided with a Philippine merchant vessel ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan, according to the Navy said. There were also crew members who were injured, including the officer in command of the guided missile destroyer. The officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was evacuated from the ship by helicopter to a nearby United States naval base and was in stable condition, the United States Seventh Fleet said in a statement. According to reports two other sailors had been evacuated by helicopter and were being treated for lacerations and bruises

Japanese news television showed massive damage to the Fitzgerald, which the Navy said had taken on water but was still capable of moving. The Philippine container ship ACX Crystal, appeared to have sustained minimal damage. All 20 Filipino crew members aboard the ship were safe

The Fitzgerald’s hull was partially caved in on its starboard, or right-hand, side, while the Crystal showed deep gashes in its bow. The pattern of damage suggested that the Crystal had collided nose-first with the Fitzgerald’s side.

Most of the 200-plus sailors aboard the ship would have been asleep in their berths, some of which reportedly flooded, when the collision occurred at 2.20am local time.

The USS Fitzgerald, part of an eight-ship squadron based in Yokosuka, had in February completed $21m worth of upgrades and repairs.

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