U.S. Navy and Japanese coast guard are search by air and see for seven sailors missing from the USS Fitzgerald following an accident at sea.
The crew members went missing when the destroyer collided with a shipping vessel around 2:30am local time Saturday 56 nautical miles south of Yokosuka, Japan.
At the time of the collision, most of the crew were probably asleep.
More photos showing the extent of damage on both the ACX Crystal and USS Fitzgerald; appears the Crystal hit the Fitzgerald pic.twitter.com/zcCkERTaja
— Strategic Sentinel (@StratSentinel) June 16, 2017
The collision impacted the Fitzgerald’s starboard side above and below the water line.
It also caused flooding in a machinery space, the radio room, and berthing rooms.
Damage control teams have been working to get water out of the areas. Dive teams will inspect the damage after the Fitzgerald’s return to port in Yokosuka, Japan. They will also plan repairs.
The Navy is uncertain about how long it will take to bring the vessel into port, though.
Three people injured in the incident have been moved to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka. One of them is Cmdr. Bryce Benson, commanding officer of the Fitzgerald. He suffered an injury to the head, according to Fox News.
The other two are being treated for cuts and bruises they suffered.
Some families of crew members have taken to social media for word of their loved ones. One woman claims she is the mother of one sailor on the Fitzgerald. “We are the parents of a sailor on the USS Fitzgerald. 1 sailor injured, 7 sailors still missing…please pray for my son and his shipmates,” she tweeted.
We are the parents of a sailor on the USS Fitzgerald. 1 sailor injured, 7 sailors still missing…please pray for my son and his shipmates.
— BMamaDB (@BMama06) June 17, 2017
“As more information is learned, we will be sure to share to it with the Fitzgerald families and when appropriate the public,” Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson said in a statement.
“Thank you for your well wishes and messages of concern. All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families,” he also said.
Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Rear Adm. Greg Fenton, echoed the same message, saying, “Navy Region Japan and the shore enterprise are 100% committed to providing support to these families during this difficult time.”