Tokyo, June 17: Fitzgerald, U.S. Navy's guided-missile destroyer met an accident off the coast of Japan. Seven U.S. Navy sailors are missing due to the accident. The ship collided with a Filipino container vessel off Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. Approximate time of the accident is 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17. Three of the crew members are injured. This accident has caused damage and flooding.
Cmdr. Bryce Benson, Fitzgerald's commanding officer has been rushed to a hospital. He is in stable condition. Two other sailors are also taken to hospital for "lacerations and bruises," according to US Navy statement.
Japan Coat Guard took instant actions for the rescue operation. The Japan Coast Guard sent patrol vessels and an airplane to search for the missing crew. Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force dispatched a helicopter."U.S. and Japanese support from the Navy, Maritime Self-Defense Force and Coast Guard are in the area to ensure that the Sailors on USS Fitzgerald have the resources they need to stabilize their ship.”, Navy statement said.
The ship is now heading to the Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture. The container vessel is sailing toward Tokyo port. The locations of the two ships, their routes and whether they had sufficient surveillance will be investigated to search the cause of the accident.
"Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the Sailors," Navy said. U.S Navy has thanked Japanese counterpart for their assistance.