UPDATED: Seven missing from US warship after collision with NYK containership

Seven US Navy sailors are missing after a warship USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with an NYK chartered containership.

The guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippines-flag 2,900 teu, 2008-built ACX Crystal at 2-30am on 17 June, 56 nm southwest of Yokosuka in Japan.

Following the collision seven sailors from the USS Fitzgerald were missing, and two required medical evacuation. The Japan Coast Guard was searching for the missing crew.

The US Nav said the collision effected Fitzgerald's forward starboard side above and below the water line, causing significant damage and associated flooding to two berthing spaces, a machinery space, and the radio room.

“Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the Sailors," said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet. "We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance."

US Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations said: “US and Japanese support from the Navy, Maritime Self Defense Force and Coast Guard are in the area to ensure that the Sailors on USS Fitzgerald have the resources they need to stabilize their ship. As more information is learned, we will be sure to share to it with the Fitzgerald families and when appropriate the public.

The containership is owned by Dainichi-Invest Corporation and managed by Sea Quest Management in Manila. Charterer NYK said in statement: "There were no injuries on board ACX Crystal, or oil spill from the vessel, it is understood that, however, a couple of sailors of the USS Fitzgerald are missing according to the Japan Coast Guard. Our thoughts and deep concerns go out to all those directly affected."

Maersk Line’s Asian intra-Asia and feeder arm MCC Transport lists the vessel as sailing from Nagoya to Tokyo as part of its JP8 service.

Posted 17 June 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News