Monday, October 23, 2017
USS Fitzgerald

Seven sailors died when the US, Navy destroyer Fitzgerald was in a collision with the Philippine-flag container ship ACX Crystal, 29,060gt, in the early hours of June 17 some 56 miles south-west of Yokosuka, Japan.

Three sailors were evacuated by helicopters to the US Naval Hospital at Yokosuka while other injured were treated on board the destroyer.

Among the three needing treatment ashore was Commander Bryce Benson, the destroyer’s commanding officer, who was transferred by a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter. The other two, who had lacerations and bruises, were flown to the hospital by a helicopter of the US Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.

Giving details of the accident on June 18, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of US 7th Fleet, praised the destroyer’s crew for their damage control efforts which saved the ship. “This was not a small collision. The water flow was tremendous, and so there wasn’t a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea. They had to fight to keep her above the surface,” the Vice Admiral said.

“The Fitzgerald was hit amidships under the ship’s pilothouse on the starboard side and a large hole below the ship’s waterline opened the hull to the sea. “The ship suffered severe damage, rapidly flooding three large compartments that included one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew. The commanding officer’s cabin was also directly hit, trapping the CO inside.

“Heroic efforts prevented the flooding from spreading which could have caused the ship to founder or sink.” Shortly after the collision, the US Navy requested support from the Japanese Coast Guard in the search for the seven sailors who were initially reported as missing.

Coast Guard helicopters launched a search of the area and they were later joined by the Japanese Coast Guard patrol ships Izanami and Kano, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force destroyers Ohnami and Hamagiri and the multipurpose support ship Enshu and two helicopters, the US Navy destroyer Dewey, a US P-8 Poseidon aircraft and a Self Defense Force P-3 Orion aircraft.

The Vice Admiral said the crew navigated the destroyer into one of the busiest ports in the world with a magnetic compass and backup navigation equipment. One of two shafts were locked. Because of the damage control efforts, the ship was able to make her way back to Yokosuka at 1815 safely on her own power.

Once she was berthed, search and rescue teams boarded and gained access to the damaged spaces, they discovered the missing seven sailors dead in the flooded berthing compartments. Also, divers began inspecting the underwater damage.

The ACX Crystal, which was on charter to the Japanese line Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and was bound from Nagoya to Yokohama, suffered bow damage and no-one on board was injured. She safely berthed at Yokohama later.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - August 2017 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

Gas Myth

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Test Ship Remotely Controlled From California +

    Highland Chieftain The Finnish group Wartsila has successfully tested the remote control of a ship in the North Sea from a centre Read More
  • Boost for Sail Ship Carrier +

    Quadriga Project The London-based classification society Lloyd’s Register has joined the project to build the world’s largest sailing cargo ship, a 170m Read More
  • Walk to Work Offshore Service Starts +

    Vos Start On Aug 1, what is described as a walk-to-work vessel arrived at Barrow to provide offshore logistics support during construction Read More
  • Drop In Orders For New Container Ships +

    Maersk Triple E The orderbook for container ships has fallen by 30 per cent in capacity terms since the start of 2016 and Read More
  • "Robot" Containers Tested +

    SEAtrue Smart “robot containers”, complete with cooling systems, that can sail to ports without any human interaction, have been developed by Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Hudson's Biggest +

    Steam generator The two-day, 170-mile delivery from the Port of Coeymans near Albany, New York of a new 130-foot high steam generator Read More
  • "Friendship of Salem" to Return This Winter +

    Friendship of Salem The Salem Maritime National Historic Site announced agreement on contract changes for the ongoing overhaul of the three-masted, 171-foot Friendship Read More
  • You're Fired! +

    USS John S McCain After a grounding, three collisions and multiple deaths, Vice Adm Joseph Aucoin was relieved of command of the US Navy’s Read More
  • Old Ironsides Floats Again +

    USS Constitution A two-year overhaul in dry dock for USS Constitution ended on the night of 23/24 July when the waters of Read More
  • "Berlin" Comes to New York +

    OOCL Berlin On 17 July, the 13,208 TEU OOCL Berlin became the largest ship to enter the port of New York and Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • Kidnapped Crew Killed +

    Royal 16 The Philippine military have found the bodies of three sailors who were kidnapped in two separate incidents over nine months Read More
  • Line Fined Over Cartel In Shipping Cars +

    NYK LIne The Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), of Tokyo, was convicted at an Australian Federal Court of criminal Read More
  • Historic Second World War Wreck Discovered +

    USS Indianapolis A team of civilian researchers, led by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G Allen, has located one of the most Read More
  • Bound for Australia +

    FLNG Prelude Built for Shell, one of the world’s largest offshore facilities ever constructed was due in Australian waters on July 30 Read More
  • OOCL Takeover Will Lead to Third Largest Line +

    OOCL The takeover of Orient Overseas International Lines, of Hong Kong, by the Chinese companies Cosco Shipping Holdings and the Shanghai Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • HMS Queen Elizabeth Arrives at Home Port +

    HMS Queen Elizabeth British News An event following the 2010 Defence Review many thought would never happen occurred on Wednesday 16 August when Read More
  • Work Starts on Three Warships +

    Type 25 British News After an almost unseemly wait, the Royal Navy can breathe again having held its breath waiting for the Read More
  • Los Angeles Class Decommissioning +

    USS Dallas American News The end of May saw a lot of submarine news within the US Navy with the decommissioning of Read More
  • HMS Westminster Returns to Service +

    HMS Westminster British News After two years out of service undergoing a major reconstruction and refit, the Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster Read More
  • USS Tripoli Launched Ahead of Schedule +

    USS Tripoli American News Ingalls Shipbuilding achieved a remarkable achievement when they launched the latest America class amphibious assault ship, USS Tripoli, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Excursion Woes +

    Waverley The excursion business, especially with the preserved classic vessels, has continued to have major disappointments. Read More
  • Making Points +

    Stena Superfast VIII In recent years, Remontowa at Gdansk has been the go-to yard for many European ferries needing refit and survey and Read More
  • Superfast Moves +

    Stena Superfast VIII Interesting moves at Stena Line where their Cairnryan – Belfast Superfast VII and VIII vessels, which appear to be integral to Read More
  • Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority +

    Iyanough The Isle of Wight has always been associated in my mind with the “Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of Read More
  • CalMac's Isle of Lewis +

    Isle of Lewis This fine study of the Isle of Lewis in the dramatic environs of Castlebay, Barra, is a reminder she has Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Captain Tom Galloway +

    Tom Galloway and Shell Driver It is with sadness I report the loss, after a short illness, of long term Sea Breezes follower and valued Read More
  • Focus on Goole +

    Eems Sprinter A testing Yorkshire pub, West or East Riding, quiz challenge, or exam question in the armoury of a Yorkshire Education Read More
  • Dedicated Dry Dock for "Pommern" +

    Pommern After forty years in New York as a museum ship, the 4-masted barque Peking has been shipped by the heavy-lift Read More
  • Oil Downturn Continues +

    Ocean Seeker The offshore oil downturn has been taking its toll around the North Sea amongst many rig boat operators and also Read More
  • Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta +

    Artemis On April 6 Dutch sailing vessels took part in the Race of the Classics from Holland across the North Sea Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • New EU Research Project To Improve Safety +

    Nordic Orion A new three-year research project, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, has been launched to address safety and efficiency Read More
  • Flogas Partners with ABP to Bunker Ships with LNG +

    Ireland As legislation tightens to reduce ship emissions I was interested to hear that Flogas Britain has partnered with Associated British Read More
  • Red Funnel Orders Second High-Speed Ferry +

    Red Jet 6 Great news from Red Funnel in late August that it has placed an order with Wight Shipyard Ltd in East Read More
  • FS Monge: A Highly Unusual Naval Vessel +

    FS Monge I am always interested in unusual looking ships and a friend of mine, who like me, is also a fan Read More
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth Sets Out on Her Sea Trials +

    HMS Queen Elizabeth Britain's largest ever aircraft carrier left Rosyth (in the Firth of Forth, Scotland) on June 26th 2017 to carry out Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Two Unique Ships Meet In Douglas Bay +

    Sega Sapphire and Talitha When Hapag-Lloyd’s new build, the Europa (3), was delivered to the company in 1981, the vessel very quickly was awarded Read More
  • The Movie “Juggernaut “ and the Experiences of an Extra +

    Juggernaut As a contributor to Sea Breezes it is always useful to get comment from our readers. Read More
  • Hydrogen Powered Vessel to Sail Around the World +

    Energy Observer. (J Bidon) A voyage with a planned duration of six years in which 101 ports of call in 50 different countries are Read More
  • Star Attraction +

    Areti. (K Jordan) Each and every September, the Principality of Monaco plays host to a Superyacht Show. Read More
  • Gliding up the Thames +

    Glider SS18 It's been eight years in the making but finally the first Glider was unveiled in London last month. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

John Readhead & Sons

The Role of the Yard Pilot

Anyone who has attended a ship launch will forever remember the thrill of the occasion as the vessel begins its Read More
Duke of Lancaster

TSS Duke of Lancaster

A Typical Summer Sailing From Heysham Harbour – 50 Years Ago Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

British Monarch. (Malcolm Cranfield)

Man Overboard in the Pacific

Sixty years ago this year, the 2nd officer on the British cargo ship British Monarch had an amazing rescue after Read More
Painting of Venus

A Quartet for the North Sea

The chain of events that led to the Bergen Line building the Venus started in the head office of Swedish Read More
  • 1
  • 2