17 June 2017
(PNA/NHK World News)
The Department of Foreign Affairs said Saturday that the PHL Embassy in Tokyo has been advised by Japanese authorities that there are no Filipino casualties so far from the collision that happened at 2:30 a.m. Saturday about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.
The ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged vessel, was being manned by 20 Filipino crew including the Captain. They are safe. The ship itself was slightly damaged from the incident, DFA said in a statement.
Earlier, DFA said it was closely monitoring reports of the collision.
DFA said it was coordinating with the relevant authorities including the governments of the US and Japan to determine exactly the extent of damage and the number of casualties, especially if any Filipino nationals were involved.
The ship is being ported back to Tokyo Bay and all crew have been instructed to remain aboard pending their interview by Japanese authorities later Saturday, it said.
The PHL Embassy will continue to coordinate with authorities on the mater and a team has been dispatched to meet the ship upon arrival and to extend the necessary assistance to the Filipino seamen, DFA also said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and colleagues of the injured and missing US personnel, including Cmdr. Bryce Benson, the USS Fitzgerald’s commanding officer,” it added.
According to NHK World News, Japan’s Coast Guard says a Philippine container ship reported a collision with a US navy vessel about 20 kilometers off Shizuoka Prefecture around 2:30 AM Saturday, Japan Time.
Coast Guard and US navy officials say the Philippine container is believed to be the ACX Crystal, which is 222.6 meters long and weighs 29,060 tons.
The navy vessel is said to be the USS Fitzgerald, a 154-meter long Aegis destroyer weighing 8,315 tons.
Helicopter footage from NHK shows considerable damage to the right side of the Aegis destroyer.
An orange hose is visible on the deck, and many crew members can be seen checking the damage.
A Coast Guard vessel has arrived near the destroyer.
It’s unknown whether anyone has been injured.
The Coast Guard has dispatched patrol vessels and one helicopter.
NHK World News reports Seven crew members of a US Aegis destroyer are missing and 3 suffered injuries after it collided with a container vessel off Izu Peninsula early on Saturday.
The Japan Coast Guard and the US Navy are investigating the damage to the USS Fitzgerald at the Yokosuka base, south of Tokyo, while teams continue the search for the missing crew.
Commander Bryce Benson was among those injured.
The Philippine container vessel was about 20 kilometers off Irozaki Cape at 2:30 AM when it reported to the Coast Guard that it had collided with a US navy vessel.
The US Navy says the Aegis destroyer suffered considerable damage to its right side, making it impossible to access the crew’s living space, the machine room and the radio room, which have been flooded. It says some crew members may be trapped there.
The Filipino container vessel, ACX Crystal, is roughly 222 meters long and weighs 29,060 tons. It suffered slight damage to its bow and arrived at a pier in Tokyo shortly after 5 PM.
Coast Guard officials entered the vessel to inspect its hull and are believed to be questioning crew members.
They are also investigating if either vessel endangered passing traffic through negligent conduct.