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Japan investigates delay in reporting US Navy ship collision

Japan investigates delay in reporting US Navy ship collision

Divers found the missing sailors after they were able to gain access to parts of the USS Fitzgerald that were damaged in the collision.

A local mother is asking the public to help the surviving sailors on a Navy destroyer that crashed with a cargo ship who are in need.

HALETHORPE, Md. (AP) - The father of a Maryland sailor killed on a U.S. Navy destroyer says he's coming to grips with a new reality without his best friend and only son.

Meguro said the ship was "operating as usual" until the collision at 1:30 a.m., as shown on a ship tracking service that the company uses.

The ACX Crystal collided with the USS Fitzgerald off Japan's coast, killing seven of the destroyer's crew of almost 300.

During the immediate response to the accident, Japanese Coast Guard helicopters had conducted two separate medical evacuations, one for Navy Commander Bryce Benson, the Fitzgerald's commander, and another for two as yet unnamed sailors.

"They did what they were trained to do", said Sykes, who said she hopes her son, from Herrin, Ill., can come home to be with family as he works through what happened.

"As to the chronological order of what happened and other details, we are still investigating", a Japanese coastguard spokesman said. Both Aucoin and the Japanese coast guard, however, said it was too early to determine what led to the collision. He said considering the damage that was done to the ship, many more people could have died.




In a press conference Sunday, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of 7th Fleet, credited the Fitzgerald's damage control efforts with saving the ship. The crash site was south of the Fitzgerald's home port, the 7th Fleet base at Yokosuka, and of Tokyo, where the Crystal was headed. As the Navy searches for answers, the bodies of the men killed are back in the United States, heading soon to Dover Air Force Base.

Weather conditions were clear at the time of the collision, the AP reported.

The cargo ship, which is about 4 times heavier, almost t-boned the navy destroyer around 2:20 am Saturday when much of the crew was asleep and the bridge was likely manned by less than a dozen people. Meguro said the ship reported the collision at 2:25am, but she could not provide details about what the ship was doing for almost an hour before that call was made. The Fitzgerald suffered extensive damage and three large compartments, a machinery room and two berthing areas for the vessel's 116-person crew, flooded rapidly.

"The water flow was tremendous, and so there wasn't a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea".

The ACX Crystal then made a U-turn and returned around 2:20 a.m.to the area near the collision. Given that this was where the damage to the destroyer was inflicted, questions will be raised over whether the US ship could have been at fault.

Japanese officials are also investigating why the 222-metre (730-foot) cargo ship made a sudden turn at about 1.30 am, and a sharp turn after it reported the accident around 2:20 am, as shown in data from the Marine Traffic website.

The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped in the collision as well.


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