Japan US Navy Collision

USS Fitzgerald Pulls Into Drydock – Damage Said To Be Significant

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June 17, 2017

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) pulls into Dry Dock 5 in Yokosuka, Japan on June 15, 2016. The U.S. military says the Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan (Patrick Dionne/U.S. Navy )

by Tim Kelly (Reuters) The USS Fitzgerald came close to sinking or foundering after the collision with a container ship ripped a big gash under the warships waterline, the commander of the United States Navy’s Seventh Fleet said on Sunday.

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“The damage was significant. There was a big gash under the water,” Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin told a news conference at Yokosuka naval base. Desperate damage control efforts by the crew managed to save the ship, he said.

The bodies of a number of sailors missing from the collision between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a merchant ship on Saturday were found Sunday in flooded compartments aboard the guided missile destroyer.

Aucoin declined to say how many were found. The search at sea, has been called off, he said.

The Fitzgerald, he said, is salvageable, but that repairs will likely take months. “Hopefully less than a year. You will see the USS Fitzgerald back,” he said.

Seven sailors were reported missing and three injured after the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided early on Saturday morning with a Philippine-flagged container ship south of Tokyo Bay in Japan, the U.S. Navy said.

The stricken containership ACX Crystal is now moored at port in Tokyo Bay.

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