Early Saturday morning, the U.S.S. Fitzgerald and ACX Crystal, a container ship from the Philippines, but "chartered by Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK)," reports CNN, collided off of Japan's Izu Peninsula. After an intensive effort to get the ship back to port, seven sailors were reported missing.
According to CNN:
While photos showed serious damage above the waterline, the container ship also did severe damage below it. A 7th Fleet statement said the collision did "significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room."
It now appears the search for the missing sailors has come to an end. The 7th Fleet official website released a statement at approximately 10:30 a.m. JST Sunday saying that the men had been found:
A number of Sailors that were missing from the collision between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a merchant ship have been found. As search and rescue crews gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision this morning, the missing Sailors were located in the flooded berthing compartments. They are currently being transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified. The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this difficult time. The names of the Sailors will be released after all notifications are made.
NBC News reports: “The fleet commander would not give an exact number of the bodies found because family notifications were still being made. He said a search and rescue effort was ended.”
The fatal collision is likely to trigger multiple investigations.