NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The U.S. Navy has released the names of seven sailors who died when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan.
There are now at least four investigations into the crash.
The impact crushed the starboard side of the USS Fitzgerald. The ship was listing as it sailed into its home port in Yokosuka, Japan Saturday.
The commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet said the actions of the roughly 300 sailors on board kept the ship from sinking.
“This was not a small collision. It was right near the pilot’s house and there is a big puncture, a big gash underneath the waterline,” said Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin.
The other ship, a Filipino vessel called the ACX Crystal, sustained damage to its bow.
The cargo ship is about four times heavier than the Fitzgerald. It nearly t-boned the Navy destroyer around 2:20 a.m. Saturday, when much of the crew was asleep and the bridge manned by less than a dozen people.
It happened more than 50 nautical miles south of Tokyo, which was supposed to be the Crystal’s destination.
According to MarineTraffic.com, the cargo ship made a u-turn shortly before the crash, and was headed in the other direction.
Commander Bryce Benson, the Fitzgerald’s captain, had to be airlifted off the ship. He was in his cabin at the time of the collision. His cabin was destroyed.
The sleeping quarters for 116 sailors flooded. Seven died, including Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez.
“He just loved the military,” said his cousin Aly Hernandez-Singer. “That’s all he wanted to do was be a soldier.”
Seaman Dakota Rigsby, 19, was a volunteer firefighter before he joined the Navy.
“To know him is to love him,” said fellow Lake Monticello volunteer firefighter Farrah Brody. “He was a good, strong-hearted person.”
The other victims have been identified as the victims on Monday as Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland; and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio.
The Japanese Coast Guard has reprotedly finished questioning the 20 Filipino crewmembers of the cargo ship.
They were all unharmed.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)