Monday, 23 July, 2018

The Hill: Trump sends prayers for missing United States sailors near Japan

Ellis Copeland | 18 June, 2017, 03:13

S. naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan June 17, 2017.

A U.S. Navy official said after the collision that the bridge was damaged and communication with the ship was limited and hard. All three are awake and under observation, the Fleet said. At around 29,000 tons displacement, the ship dwarfs the 8,315-ton US warship, and was carrying 1,080 containers from the port of Nagoya to Tokyo.

Three sailors, including the destroyer's commanding officer, Cmdr.

The damaged destroyer was back at its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo by sunset Saturday, its crew lined up on deck. More than 200 sailors were aboard the Fitzgerald, and most would have been asleep at the time of the crash, the Associated Press reported.

The USS Fitzgerald requested the assistance of the Japanese coast guard after the collision occurred at approximately 2.30 a.m. Saturday.

President Donald Trump retweeted an update Saturday from the United States 7th Fleet on the ship's status and the search-and-rescue mission, saying: "Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families". USA and Japanese aircraft also were involved.

NHK said the massive 222-metre (730 foot) container ship made a sharp turn around the time of the accident, but its captain suggested otherwise.

The USS Fitzgerald has reached port in Yokosuka, Japan, after the U.S. Navy destroyer collided with a large Philippine-flagged container ship.

- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)Thoughts are with @USNavy crew aboard USS Fitzgerald.

The site of the collision lies off the coast of the Izu peninsula, southwest of Tokyo. Others who were hurt were being assessed on the ship.

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The ACX Crystal - which sailed to a Tokyo port Saturday - is a commercial container ship with a Filipino crew, according to its Japanese owner, NYK Line.

U.S. Naval Forces Japan said an emergency family assistance center was established and families had phone numbers they could call for more information. Much like the systems in advanced automobiles, those systems are created to not only see a ship's surroundings, but also calculate whether it's headed for a crash.

Neither of the vessels involved in the collision were in danger of sinking, the Japan Coast Guard said earlier.

The Navy's 7th Fleet reported the developments in an update on the stricken ship that was nearing the port of Yokosuka in Japan. Navy officials said that divers immediately began inspecting the damage and developing a plan for repairs and inspection of the impacted spaces upon the destroyer's return to Yokosuka.

The larger size of the container ship could have left the smaller U.S. destroyer vulnerable in the collision, Schuster said. The collision caused significant damage to the Fitzgerald and injuries to crew.

"Just heard the sweetest voice and saw a wonderful face. He's okay. Thank you all for the prayers".

"We are coordinating with the relevant authorities, including the governments of the USA and Japan, to determine exactly the extent of damage and the number of casualties, especially if any Filipino nationals were involved", the DFA said.

The statement hinted that the missing sailors could be trapped in the damaged area of the destroyer. Seven sailors are missing.

#The Navy said Comdr.

"Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the sailors", said Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet. It says he was in stable condition.

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