US Navy Destroyer Collides With Merchant Vessel Off Japan
The USS Fitzgerald, a guided missile destroyer, collided with a merchant vessel southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, the U.S. Navy said in a statement on Friday afternoon. The crash happened at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time on June 17, and the Navy requested Japan’s Coast Guard’s assistance.
Aerial footage of the destroyer after the collision
The Navy said the Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka and the extent of injuries to U.S. personnel “is being determined.” It added that the Navy had requested the assistance of the Japanese Coast Guard.
According to Reuters, Japan’s NHK public television website reported that the commercial vessel is a Philippines container ship and that the destroyer had suffered some flooding and was “unable to operate”.
Full navy statement below:
USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.
The U.S. Navy has requested Japanese Coast Guard assistance in responding to the collision.
The extent of damage is being determined. The extent of personnel injuries is being determined. The incident will be investigated.
The Fitzgerald recently made a port call to the US Navy’s Subic Bay base in the Philippines and conducted patrols in the South China Sea. The destroyer maintains constant contact with Japan as it is forward-based in Yokosuka.
The latest weekly summary of US naval asset around the world is shown in the map below. It shows that the the Nimitz carrier group is headed for the Middle East, via Hawaii, while the Vinson is also leaving the Korean peninsula. Meanwhile, the Persian Gulf is lightly attended, following the departure of the USS Bush which recently was headed west in the Med, only to make an unexpected 180 and is now parked off the coast of Israel.