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US Navy destroyer collision site in Japan known for congested nighttime traffic

24 June 2017

A number of groups across US bases in Japan have stepped up to assist sailors from the USS Fitzgerald after seven of the ship's crew members were killed last weekend in a collision off the Japanese coast. It had completed its circle at roughly the same time of the reported collision, according to the data.

Below the waterline, damage was extensive and threatened to sink the ship. The Navy and Coast Guard are probing the collision, as is Japan's Coast Guard and Transportation Board. The bodies of seven drowned sailors were pulled from the areas of the ship that had been cut off.

The Fitzgerald is equipped with the AN/SPS-64 advanced military navigation radar, and also uses a commercial radar system to enhance the shipping traffic picture of ships in its vicinity. AIS information from Crystal should have been monitored by sailors on the bridge of the Fitzgerald.

Additionally, all commercial ships over 300 tons are required under worldwide rules to operate AIS location data. Seven sailors aboard the Fitzgerald died as a result. "The Fitzgerald crew responded professionally as all sailors are expected to fight the damage sustained to their ship". AIS, a tracking system that has become the "Internet of Ships", was meant to help prevent such collisions, but it has also become a tool for almost anyone to identify and track ships traveling around the world through websites and mobile applications.

The service will be held on Tuesday at the naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, where the badly damaged destroyer USS Fitzgerald is based, a navy spokeswoman said.

The ship's commander, Cmdr.

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One of the Navy sailors who died in the collision was Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville. Three men were also injured; they were quickly evacuated by helicopter. All appear to have injuries that are not life threatening.

A Fitzgerald sailor told USNI News that around the same time Crystal arrived onscene, the destroyer got its backup satellite radio working and sent its own SOS message.

The USS Fitzgerald was first commissioned in 1995, and in 2005 it was deployed to counteract missile crises around the globe.

The Crystal was built in South Korea, is 730 feet long and capable of carrying up to 2,858 shipping containers.

After the accident, the ACX Crystal continued on its course and even picked up speed, before it eventually lowered velocity and turned back around.

US Navy destroyer collision site in Japan known for congested nighttime traffic