(Via ABC News)
The seven sailors who were killed in a collision between a U.S. Navy ship and a merchant ship have been identified.
The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine container ship off the coast of Japan in the early hours of Saturday morning local time, according to the Navy’s 7th Fleet. The Fitzgerald was operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, when it hit the container ship at approximately 2:20 a.m. local time, according to Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin of the 7th fleet.
Initially, five sailors were reported injured and seven sailors were reported missing, though the remains of those sailors have since 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,” the 7th Fleet said in a statement Saturday evening.
The sailors were identified as: Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia; Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut; Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland; and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio.
Cmdr. Ronald Flanders of the U.S. Naval Forces Japan said the focus right now is on the families.
“An investigation will no doubt be conducted in weeks and months ahead…” he said. “We’ve got people weeping on the pier right now.”