Collusion Off Japan Leaves American Destroyer Crippled, Sailors Injured and Possibly Missing

CBS News

The U.S. Navy’s USS Fitzgerald has collided with a Japanese merchant vessel, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The Japanese Coast Guard is on the scene and providing assistance at the request of the U.S. Navy. The USS Fitzgerald is under her own power, although her propulsion is limited, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The USS Dewey, medical assistance and two Navy tugs are also being dispatched as quickly as possible. Naval aircraft are also being readied. The collusion was serious, but the extent of the damage and personnel injuries are being determined.

The collision occurred at 2:30 a.m. local time on June 17, about 56 nautical miles off of Yokosuka, Japan, according to the Navy.

Live footage shot from a helicopter Saturday morning by Japanese broadcaster NHK showed heavy damage to the mid-right side of the Navy ship, which appeared to be stationary in the water. People were standing on various parts of the deck.

The USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer commissioned in 1995, is based in Yokosuka, according to the Navy. Its crew includes roughly 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted members of the Navy.

Japan and U.S. relations strengthened in 2015 through the release of revised guidelines, which provide new and expanded forms of security-related cooperation, according to the State Department. Japan provides bases as well as financial and material support to U.S. forces to maintain stability in the region.

This is a developing story.

This is the ACX Crystal, the containership that collided with the Fitzgerald.

Short youtube video showing damage to Fitzgerald:

Live coverage below by Right Side Broadcasting. How long this will stream live is unclear.

11 thoughts on “Collusion Off Japan Leaves American Destroyer Crippled, Sailors Injured and Possibly Missing

  1. Was the barge on auto-pilot? How could they miss that big giant white Navy ship, unless they were asleep (or drunk) at the wheel?

  2. 7 missing…2 medevacs, one is the Commander. Fitzgerald is 505 feet long, weighs 8,300 tons. Cargo ship, Crystal, 722 feet long, weighs 40,000 tons loaded; which it is. Looks like the Crystal ran into the Fitzgerald from the placement of the damage.

  3. Surely both ships were moving? I am not sure who had right of way but everybody knows that much larger ships are harder to maneuver and change direction than smaller ones. It is up to both captains to avoid a collision, not just merchant vessels. The Chinks must be laughing hard.

    Was the navy ship showing navigation lights?

    The navy ship has so much modern spying technology on board, but could not see a 40,000 ton ship approaching nearby. A North Korean torpedo boat could thus have got close and delivered a torpedo. Syria has the legal right to do this to any US Navy vessel anywhere in the world. In a legal sense Emil el Trump declared war on Syria and they have a right to respond militarily.

      • Very crowded shipping manufactured goods to the West and raw materials to the East. Where is art, he would know.

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