Bodies of Missing Sailors Recovered from USS Fitzgerald


The USS Fitzgerald and Merchant Vessel ACX Crystal Collided Early Saturday

The bodies of missing sailors from the USS Fitzgerald have been recovered from the warship following its collision with a merchant vessel near the Japanese coast. 

“The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this difficult time,” the Navy said in a statement. “The names of the sailors will be released after all notifications are made.”

Official Navy channels did not initially confirm the number of bodies recovered from the warship, but CNN reported that an official confirmed to the outlet that all seven were recovered. Additionally, Navy officials confirmed early Sunday during a press conference that all search and rescue operations had been completed.

The collision between the 10,000-ton USS Fitzgerald and the 29,000-ton merchant vessel ACX Crystal occurred early Saturday local time nearly 60 miles from the coast of Japan. While the Fitzgerald suffered considerable damage to its starboard side, the ACX Crystal sustained only light damage.

Statements from the Navy’s 7th Fleet confirmed that the collision caused “significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room,” with damage both above and below the waterline.

Naval commanders praised sailors for containing flooding, stabilizing the ship and sailing it back to port at the US naval base in Yokosuka. The fleet confirmed the return via social media:

The Fitzgerald’s Commander Bryce Benson, as well as two injured US sailors, were evacuated by a Japanese naval helicopter and transported to a US Naval Hospital. All three were reported to be in stable condition.

Multiple investigations into the collision are expected.

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