Bodies of missing United States sailors found

7 US sailors missing after destroyer collides with merchant ship off Japan coast

7 US sailors missing after destroyer collides with merchant ship off Japan coast

All seven missing sailors from the USS Fitzgerald were found dead in flooded berthing compartments following the warship's collision with a merchant vessel, a US Navy official tells CNN. Bryce Benson. The sailors are under observation at the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka and have been in stable condition.

The USS Fitzgerald sustained significant damage in the collision with Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal on Saturday at around 2.20am local time.

The USS Fitzgerald is back at its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo, with extensive damage to its hull.

After the collision, crews raced to dewater the Fitzgerald, which experienced flooding in two berthing spaces, a machinery space and the radio room.

Despite efforts to ease the intake of water, the statement said it was "uncertain how long it will take to gain access to the spaces once the ship is pier side in Yokosuka".

The Navy's 7th Fleet, in a statement, said search teams found the bodies on Sunday morning after the missile destroyer returned to its Japan base.

It did not say how many bodies had been found or if any sailors were still missing after Saturday's collision, the cause of which is under investigation.

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The U.S. Navy has identified the seven sailors who died in a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship off Japan on Saturday.

US authorities tacitly acknowledged there were no survivors, although Aucoin declined to say how many bodies had been recovered until relatives of the dead sailors are notified.

But Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander for the Navy's 7th Fleet, did not say how many bodies were recovered, pending notification of next of kin.

"Once an investigation is complete then any legal issues can be addressed", a spokesperson for the United States 7th Fleet said.

Japanese media said all seven sailors were found dead.

Nippon Yusen K.K., the Japanese company operating the merchant vessel, said the 20 member Filipino crew aboard the ship was safe.

Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way on how a ship as large as the container could ram into the smaller warship in clear weather.

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But the destroyer, nicknamed the Fighting Fitz within the Navy, suffered severe damage on its starboard side. "Now that the ship is in Yokosuka, I ask that you help the families by maintaining their privacy as we continue the search for our shipmates".

Aucoin said, "I'm not going to speculate on what happened".

Three sailors required medical evacuation, including the ship's commander, Cmdr.

"The ship is salvageable", he said. "You will see the USS Fitzgerald back", Aucoin said.

Donald Trump tweeted that his thoughts and prayers were with crew members and their families.

"We will fully cooperate with authorities investigating the case".

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