7 dead, heavy damage to US Navy ship in collision

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

The cousin of a U.S. Navy sailor from OH says the 37-year-old man was three months shy of retiring when he was killed this weekend in a collision between a destroyer and a container ship off Japan.

All were killed when their warship, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a merchant vessel Saturday in the crowded waters off Japan's Izu Peninsula.

He was part of a crew of almost 300 aboard the destroyer when a Philippine-flagged container ship collided with it early Saturday. It then made a U-turn and returned around 2:30 a.m.to the area near the collision. Campbell said. "We just know that he is watching over us right now".

But after interviewing the ACX Crystal's crew, the Japanese coast guard revised its crash time estimate to 1:30 a.m.

Asked about the earlier time cited by the coast guard, Navy spokesman Cmdr. She said the ship reported to the coast guard at 2:25 a.m., but she could not provide details about what the ship was doing for almost an hour.

At the Martin home in Halethorpe, fellow members of the Navy stopped by to pay their final respects to the grieving father, who says he hasn't been able to sleep or eat since first hearing about the crash. The Fitzgerald was towed to the American base at Yokosuka, Japan, where anxious families awaited news as Navy divers searched for the missing sailors. Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin.

Xavier Martin joined the U.S. Navy to follow his father's footsteps.

"When we heard that he ran in and helped save other sailors from drowning, we said that was Gary".

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"We got a phone call from the Navy personnel in CT".

The US guided-missile destroyer suffered severe damage to its starboard side, while the container ship sustained light damage.

He thanked "our Japanese allies" for their swift assistance, and said the Navy will fully investigate the cause.

Connecticut's governor has ordered flags to fly at half-staff in Huynh's honor.

He was selfless, Lan Huynh told WVIT-TV, of Hartford, Connecticut, and the family is coping as best it can.

The couple met at Weslaco High School, where both were active in the JROTC program. They were found in the destroyer's flooded berthing compartments.

"When they confirmed it, it was like a kick to the chest", she told KTVT.

Sykes said her son told her that four men in his berth died, including those sleeping on bunks above and below him, while three died in the berth above his.

Other reports by GizPress

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