Japan investigates delay in reporting US Navy ship collision

On Sunday night, the U.S. Navy identified the seven sailors who died after their destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a container ship off of Japan on Saturday.

The U.S. Navy says the search is continuing for seven missing American sailors in the sea off Japan, after a collision between a Navy destroyer and a huge cargo ship.

The Navy said the dead United States crew were found by the divers. GMSN Rigsby hailed from Palmyra, Virginia, and was exceptionally proud to have joined.

Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, Calif.

This story has been corrected to show that the name of one victim is Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, not Carlosvictor.

Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Md.

Cmdr. Ronald Flanders of the U.S. Naval Forces Japan said the focus right now is on the families.

An information center with available counselors has been set up at the USA naval base in Yokosuka.

One day later, Navy divers found "a number of" bodies in the ship.

The damage could have sunk the Fitzgerald, he said, but for the quick action of the crew.

On Monday, the Navy's 7th Fleet identified the seven sailors who died.

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The admiral's comments Sunday indicated the loss of life could have been much worse.

Seven sailors were reported missing after Saturday's predawn collision, triggering a major search operation off Japan's Pacific coast, and U.S. authorities tacitly acknowledged there were no survivors. A 7th Fleet statement said the collision did "significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room".

The 154-metre (500-foot) Fitzgerald was pulled by a tugboat back to its base on Saturday, where divers searched damaged areas of the destroyer, which was deployed in the mid-90s.

"There wasn't a lot of time in spaces that were open to the sea". Gesturing to the destroyer, docked behind him with pumps continuing to bring water up out of the hull, he added: "They had to fight this ship to keep it above the surface". In this Saturday, June 17, 2017, photo, the container ship ACX Crystal goes through the Tokyo Bay after colliding with the USS Fitzgerald in the waters off the Izu Peninsula early in the day. "He's lucky to be alive", Aucoin said. Two sailors also were taken to the facility with bruises and cuts.

All of the ACX Crystal's 20-member Filipino crew was safe, according to Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K., which operates the ship. Authorities also said that the three injured sailors were kept under observation and they were awake.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a sympathy message to President Trump over the fatal collision.

"I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this hard time", he wrote, praising USA servicemen in Japan under the allies' bilateral security pact.

He also praised their colleagues for saving the USS Fitzgerald from further damage and taking it back to port. "We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance".

The nature of the collision, the maritime equivalent of a T-bone auto accident in a busy intersection, suggested the crew of the Crystal could be to blame.

Naval historians recall possibly the last time a warship was hit by a larger vessel in peacetime was in 1964 off the coast of Australia.

The Fitzgerald is part of the Yokosuka-based naval group that includes the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, but it was operating independently of the carrier when the collision occurred.

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