Navy Identifies 7 Sailors Killed In USS Fitzgerald Collision

news

The Navy has named the seven USS Fitzgerald sailors who died after the destroyer collided with a cargo ship Saturday off the coast of Japan.


A 7th Fleet statement issued Monday morning identified them as:

  • Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Va.
  • Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego, Calif.
  • Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Conn.
  • Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Md.
  • Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio

The collision between the Fitzgerald and the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal happened about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, about 64 miles southwest of Yokosuka near the Izu Peninsula, a Navy statement said.

Seven sailors were missing, and three sailors, including the ship’s commander, were medically evacuated to Naval Hospital Yokosuka.

Cmdr. Bryce Benson and one of the injured sailors have been released, the 7th Fleet announced Monday morning on its Facebook page. The other sailor remains hospitalized.

Navy officials announced Sunday that search-and-rescue efforts had been suspended and that a number of remains had been recovered, but declined to provide further details pending next-of-kin notification.

The sailors were found in flooded berthing compartments after search-and-rescue crew members gained access to spaces that were damaged during the collision, the 7th Fleet said in a statement Sunday.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steve Giordano will travel to Yokosuka on Tuesday to meet with Fitzgerald sailors and family members, Naval Forces Japan said Monday morning.

The pair also plan to visit other sailors and civilian workers from the base’s repair and maintenance facilities to thank them for assisting with the Fitzgerald, the statement said.

The ACX Crystal was heading east, not far from its Tokyo Bay destination, when it turned around and traveled in a circle, according to public data from the ship’s automatic tracking system posted on Marinetraffic.com. It had completed its circle at roughly the same time of the reported collision, according to the data.

The Japan Coast Guard has interviewed the Crystal’s crew about the incident, but has yet to speak with Fitzgerald personnel, a spokesman said.

There were no injuries or missing personnel reported on the ACX Crystal, he said.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, 7th Fleet commander, told reporters at Yokosuka on Sunday that several investigations into the incident will be conducted, and that he will appoint a flag officer to oversee a Judge Advocate General Manual Investigation.

Aucoin, speaking near the damaged vessel, added that the Navy intends to fully cooperate with Japanese authorities on their investigation.

About 400 ships pass each day through the shipping lane where the collision occurred, said the coast guard spokesman, who added that three similar accidents happened there within the past five years.

Aucoin said the commander’s living area was among many spots on the ship that received significant damage.

“His cabin was destroyed,” Aucoin said. “He’s lucky to be alive.”

Aucoin said the Fitzgerald will sail again.

“The ship is salvageable,” he said. “It will require some significant repairs. You will see the USS Fitzgerald back as one of our warships here. [Repair time] will take months, hopefully under a year.”

———

©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

WATCH NOW: 

U.S. Navy photo
(Courtesy of Jackie Melendrez)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.

Read More Show Less
Photo: U.S. Army

Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.

Read More Show Less

The Iranians just blasted one of the US military's most sophisticated and expensive drones out of the sky as tensions in the Strait of Hormuz reach the boiling point.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Lawrence Hurley)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.

The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.

The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.

Read More Show Less
(Associated Press/Facebook)

A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.

Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.

On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.

Read More Show Less