BIW destroyer involved in crash off Japanese Coast

Three of the destroyer's crew members, including Commander Bryce Benson, were medically evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka.

Along with the U.S. Navy, the Japan Coast Guard is investigating the collision and has questioned crew members of the 29,060 ton Philippine ACX Crystal container vessel on suspicion of possible endangerment of traffic caused by professional negligence, according to local media reports.

Naval commanders praised the sailors for containing flooding caused by the collision, stabilizing the ship and sailing it back to port at the USA naval base in Yokosuka, where divers inspected its damage and developed a plan for repairs and inspection.

The Navy, Japanese maritime defense vessels and the coast guard were working to stabilize the destroyer as it headed to shore, said Navy chief Adm. John Richardson.

The U.S. Navy says flooding has been stabilized on the USS Fitzgerald and sailors from the USS Dewey have come aboard to assist after the destroyer was damaged in an overnight collision that left seven crew missing. The damage to the Fitzgerald resulted in some flooding.

Water was being pumped out of flooded areas, and it was unclear how long it would take to get into the crushed mid-right side of the ship once it was at the pier in Yokosuka, the statement said.

The merchant vessel with which the Fitzgerald collided is the ACX Crystal, a container ship flagged in the Philippines, officials said.

Shortly after the collision the USA made a request for support from the Japanese Coast Guard, which was the first on scene and continues to be the lead for search-and-rescue efforts, according to a release.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that at the time of the collision the weather and therefore visibility should have been clear and the waves were at a height of around 2 meters.

The accident happened 56 nautical miles (104 kilometers) southwest of the base, the US Navy said.

A spokesman for the U.S. 7th Fleet said the ship was heading back to Yokosuka under its own power at 3 knots.

Seven sailors are unaccounted for and the Japanese Coast Guard continues to search for them, a release said. Seven Navy sailors are missing an. Japan Coast Guard cutters IZUNAMI and KANO are on station, as well as a helicopter. "Thank you to our Japanese allies for their assistance", President Donald Trump tweeted after the ship returned to base in Japan with the help of two tug boats after 6 pm local time.

"The ship is being ported back to Tokyo Bay and all crew have been instructed to remain onboard pending their interview by Japanese authorities later today", it added in a statement.

The rules require that ships must have a watch posted at all times and follow a number of collision-avoidance steps when crossing paths with or overtaking other vessels.

The Fitzgerald's commanding officer, Cmdr.

Nippon Yusen K.K., the Japanese shipping company that operates the container ship that collided with a U.S. Navy destroyer, says its 20-member crew all safe.

The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have sustained any major structural damage. The Japan coast guard dispatched five patrol ships and an aircraft carrying medics to the site for search and rescue operations. A USA naval vessel collided with a South Korean fishing ship in May. Now working with the Japanese Coast Guard to conduct a medevac via helicopter for one Sailor.

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