Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, addressed reporters at a Navy base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, but wouldn’t say how many bodies were recovered, pending notification of next of kin.
The USS Fitzgerald sustained significant damage in the collision with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal around 2:20 a.m. Saturday. Aucoin paid tribute to the crew’s efforts to save their ship, saying they prevented it from sinking.
“You can’t see most of the damage, the damage is mostly underneath the waterline, and it’s a large gash near the keel of the ship so the water flow was tremendous, and so there wasn’t a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea,” he said. “And as you can see now the ship is still listing, so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface. It was traumatic.”
Much of the crew was asleep, he said, and one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew members were severely damaged, along with the captain’s cabin.Read more at NYPost