Japan investigates delay in reporting US Navy ship collision; 7 crew members dead

TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported.

In this photo released by Japan’s Defense Ministry, an injured USS Fitzgerald personnel is carried by U.S. military personnel, left, and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force members upon arriving to the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the Izu Peninsula Saturday, June 17, 2017. Seven Navy sailors were missing and at least two, including the captain, were injured after the collision off the coast of Japan before dawn Saturday, the U.S. Navy and Japanese coast guard reported. (Japan’s Defense Ministry via AP)

 

A coast guard official said Monday they are trying to find out what the crew of the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was doing before reporting the collision to authorities 50 minutes later.

The coast guard initially said the collision occurred at 2:20 a.m., as the Philippine ship had reported it at 2:25 a.m. and said it just happened.

After interviewing Filipino crewmembers, the coast guard has changed the collision time to 1:30 a.m. The ACX Crystal collided with the USS Fitzgerald off Japan’s coast early Saturday morning, killing seven of the destroyer’s crew of nearly 300.

The U.S. Navy released the names of the deceased sailors on Sunday night.

  • Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia
  • Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California
  • Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut
  • Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California
  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland
  • Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio

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