Monday, June 19, 2017

Tragedy at Sea: Seven American Sailors Killed in Collission Aboard USS Fitzgerald

As many of you may well know by now, the American Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer U.S.S. Fitzgerald (DDG-62) was involved in a major collision with the Philippine flagged container vessel ACX Crystal that resulted in the deaths of seven American sailors. The incident was reported to have taken place at 0230hrs in busy shipping lanes 60 miles from the Izu Peninsula. While no crew members of the larger ACX Crystal were reported injured, the damage to the smaller destroyer trapped sailors in their berthing compartments as they slept injuring scores of crew members including the ships captain Cmdr. Bryce Benson who was later airlifted by Japanese Maritime SDF helicopters back to Yokosuka. 
During the first 24 hours, the seven dead sailors were initially listed as missing which prompted a massive air sea search & rescue operation on the part of the JMSDF and Japanese Coast Guard. Sadly, the seven missing sailors were later discovered in the flooded berthing compartments. 
Dramatic photos reveal the severe damage to the hull, what's not seen is the damage below the water line. As one can see from the above photo of the ACX Crystal, it has what is called a "Bulbous Bow" below the waterline. The impact of which cannot be seen above the waterline is what caused the most damage to the destroyer. It is there where much of the flooding occurred. 
The following names listed below are of the seven American Sailors who lost their lives. We at American Mishima respectfully a raise them a slow hand salute in tribute to these seven souls who will join those countless American Sailors still on patrol. 

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

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