7 American Sailors Pronounced Dead At Sea After USS Fitzgerald Collided …

Those who serve our country in the Armed Forces face danger regularly.

That danger is ever-present, whether they are in combat or not.

Sadly, we must report that seven American sailors have died. They lost their lives serving their country.

The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan in photo received June 17, 2017.  Courtesy of U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart/Handout via REUTERS

From Daily Caller:

U.S. sailors aboard a Navy destroyer demonstrated bravery and heroism when their vessel was struck by a large container ship in the middle of the night Saturday.

The ACX Crystal, a massive Philippine-flagged merchant ship, collided with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald off the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan over the weekend.

The U.S. ship suffered “significant damage,” and seven American sailors lost their lives. The bodies of the dead sailors were discovered in flooded compartments below deck.

The USS Fitzgerald’s captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was, along with two other crew members, airlifted to a the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.

When the container ship hit the U.S. destroyer, Brayden Harden, 19, was thrown from his bunk, his mother Mia Sykes said Sunday, according to the Japan Times. The collision occurred at around 1:30 in the morning Saturday, when most of the 300 sailors onboard the USS Fitzgerald were asleep.

Harden told his mother that four men in his berth and three in the one above him died in the accident. After the hit, the ship began taking on water.

The young sailor continued diving into the water to save his shipmates, while some sailors, suspecting that they might be under attack, ran to man the guns. Other naval servicemen fought to keep the ship from sinking.

The accident is under investigation. While modern ships have impressive technology to guide them, travel on the seas is always unpredictable. That is especially true at night, when visibility is greatly reduced.

Chances are this was a terrible accident. Most likely the merchant ship was negligent; someone was not doing their job.

But those American sailors that lost their lives will not be forgotten. They dedicated their lives to serving their country. They were far from home, working to keep the world safe. Though they died in this tragic accident, their memory lives on.

“Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families,” President Donald Trump tweeted early Saturday.

“We are struck by deep sorrow. I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this difficult time,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday in response to the accident at sea.

Hopefully from this event, we can learn, to ensure fewer accidents like this will happen again.

Source: Daily Caller

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