Tragedy struck the U.S. Navy when, during a routine maneuver off the coast of Japan, a Philippine-flagged ship collided with American destroyer, the U.S.S. Fitzgerald.
One sailor was airlifted from the floundering craft:
The seven remaining crew members were still missing, however, and a lengthy search ended when their bodies were found inside a flooded compartment.
The seven were hailed as heroes by the U.S. 7th Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin:
“They had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface. So it was traumatic. I can't tell you how proud I am of the crew for what they did to save the ship.”
The names of the seven crew members were released on Sunday afternoon:
- Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby
- Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass
- Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh
- Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez
- Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan
- Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin
- Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm, Jr.
America thanks you for your service and your sacrifice.