OKOSUKA, Japan (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Navy ship collision off the Japanese coast (all times local):
Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley says the Navy is deeply saddened and promised a full investigation into a collision between a destroyer and a container ship off Japan that killed seven sailors.
He said in a statement that “we are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our fellow shipmates.”
He also praised their colleagues for saving the USS Fitzgerald from further damage and bringing it back to port. The incident happened early Saturday morning as many of the crew slept.
Stackley promised to “fully investigate” the cause of the collision.
The U.S. Navy has identified the seven sailors who died in a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship off Japan on Saturday.
— 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 Carlos Victor 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
The mother of a U.S. Navy sailor who survived a direct hit to his sleeping berth during a collision at sea says her son kept diving back down to try to save his shipmates until the flooded berth began running out of air pockets.
Mia Sykes of Raleigh, North Carolina, told The Associated Press on Sunday that her 19-year-old son Brayden Harden was knocked out of his bunk by the impact, and water immediately began filling the berth.
Sykes says her son told her that the men sleeping on bunks above and below him were among those who died.
Sykes says her son told her that sailors initially believed they were under attack and some immediately went to man the guns.
Harden is from Herrin, Illinois, and recently was redeployed.