U.S. Navy Destroyer Damaged in Collision Off Japan

Video still / NHK

By The Maritime Executive 06-16-2017 10:08:36

At 0220 hours local time on Friday, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the 40,000 dwt container ship ACX Crystal at a position southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. 

The collision resulted in damage to the Fitzgerald's starboard side amidships, both above and below the waterline, and she is taking on water and listing. Aerial video footage (below) shows the extent of the damage and the discharge streams from Fitzgerald's dewatering pumps.

The Navy reports that the Fitzgerald has flooding in three compartments but is not in danger of sinking. She has power, but her propulsion is reportedly limited. The USS Dewey and two fleet tugs have been dispatched to provide assistance, and the Navy plans to tow Fitzgerald back to Yokosuka for repairs. 

The latest reports from Japanese broadcaster NHK indicate that one sailor was injured in the collision and seven are missing. The Navy says that it has requested help from the Japanese Coast Guard for a medical evacuation, and Japan Coast Guard cutters Izunami and Kano are on scene to assist.

No information was immediately available on the condition of the ACX Crystal. As of Friday afternoon, her AIS signal showed her drifting and not under command at a position about 20 nm southwest of Yokosuka.

The 2008-built Crystal is owned and operated by a company in the Philippines and frequently trades to Japanese ports. Her Equasis record shows that within the past year, port state control inspectors found deficiencies related to hours of rest and ECDIS chart systems, among other concerns. She has no record of PSC detentions.