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US Destroyer Collision Update: New Details Reveal What Happened

US Destroyer Collision Update: New Details Reveal What Happened
YOKOSUKA, Japan (June 17, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart/Released via Creative Commons)

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US Destroyer Collision Update: New Details Reveal What Happened

Five of the seven American sailors who died after USS Fitzgerald collided with 29,000-ton ACX Crystal, off the coast of Japan may have been almost instantly “incapacitated” and died quickly. Citing a preliminary Navy analysis, an unidentified defense official claimed that the assessment was based on the point of impact and the berths in which the Navy sailors were presumably sleeping.

The collision caused significant damage on Fitzgerald’s starboard side directly next to the berthing spaces, ripping the US warship open and causing water to pour in. The US Navy is reportedly trying to corroborate accounts suggesting that the remaining two victims tried to help the other five who were trapped in the flooded area. But the official tells CNN that “at some point, the ship somehow lost communication” with both sailors who were later found dead.

It also appears that the berthing compartment collapsed inward due to the collision, making it difficult for the people inside to get out. Whether or not the order to shut the watertight hatch to the berthing area came while the two sailors were still alive may never be known, according to the official. The investigation could determine who gave the order, although the decision was deemed necessary since the water had already started flooding into other compartments including a deck below.

The US Navy is still awaiting the completion of all the investigations before making any conclusions about the actions of the crew and decisions for any potential disciplinary action. There are also no assumptions yet regarding the timing of the decision to close the watertight hatch.

US Destroyer Collision

US Destroyer Collision: YOKOSUKA, Japan (June 20, 2017) – Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, center right, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, top right, commander U.S. 7th Fleet, and Rear Adm. Greg Fenton, commander of Naval Forces Japan, meet with Adm. Yutaka Murakawa, chief of staff, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Vice Adm. Kazuki Yamashita, commander-in-chief, Self-Defense Fleet, and Rear Adm. Kazutoshi Miyazato, chief, Yokosuka Coast Guard office. The meeting was to thank the JMSDF and Japanese Coast Guard for their response and assistance after a serious collision involving the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a merchant vessel June 17. The incident is under investigation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Richard L.J. Gourley/Released via Flickr/Creative Commons)

The probe is currently ongoing in the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, and Japanese naval and maritime authorities. Investigators are using the Fitzgerald’s Aegis weapons system and ACX Crystal’s voyage data recorder which both contain details on the ships’ movements, including its location, direction, speed and other data to determine the cause of the US Destroyer Collision early Saturday off the Izu Peninsula, west of Tokyo.

Also Read: US Navy Ready For War: Newest Warship In Baltimore!

About Necta Casiple

A Mass Communication graduate, Necta has been writing news and other digital content for over 2 years now. She's a movie buff and a sucker for Korean dramas.

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