Last night, at a distance of about 56 nautical miles North-West of the Japanese island Yokosuka was a collision of destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the civilian merchant vessel. "1 sailor injured, 7 sailors still missing.please pray for my son and his shipmates", she tweeted.
Naval commanders praised sailors for containing flooding, stabilizing the ship and sailing it back to port at the United States naval base in Yokosuka.
"Our government expresses its heartfelt solidarity with the United States at this hard time, and will spare no effort in supplying any and all assistance", Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a statement on Sunday. Please consider contributing to Eurasia Review, as we are truly independent and do not receive financial support from any institution, corporation or organization. USA aircraft as well as Japanese helicopters were dispatched to help assist the search effort.
The USS Fitzgerald hit a container ship on Saturday.
Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander for the Navy's 7th Fleet, described the damage and flooding to the USS Fitzgerald, which included a big puncture under the waterline, as extensive.
An early-morning collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a commercial shipping vessel near Japan on Saturday has resulted in the deaths of several sailors, according to a Navy spokesperson.
The container ship was seen making a U-turn before the collision on some ship trackers, a move that has raised questions about what happened.
"This has been a hard day", 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said in a statement after the destroyer returned to base. Two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room were damaged and began taking in water after the destroyer was rammed mid-right side of the ship.
More aircraft and ships, including the USS Dewey and two navy tugs were being dispatched as quickly as practicable to provide assistance.
Cmdr. Bryce Benson, who took the helm of the Yokosuka-based destroyer last month, was in stable condition on Sunday, Navy officials said.
The coast guard said it received an emergency call from the ACX Crystal reporting the collision at around 2:20 a.m. (1720 GMT Friday).
"All of our thoughts and concerns are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families".
Japan's coastguard is conducting an investigation into the accident - including interviewing the container ship's Filipino crew - although the U.S. has primary jurisdiction in probing accidents involving military personnel. They are especially congested in the early hours of the day, with ships carrying cargo for early morning delivery in Tokyo.
The Fitzgerald had limited propulsion after suffering damage on the right side below the water line and a US defense official said there was flooding in three compartments.