Navy identifies sailors killed in destroyer crash

Damage to the USS Fitzgerald.
(Image credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sunday night, the U.S. Navy identified the seven sailors who died after their destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a container ship off of Japan on Saturday.

The deceased sailors are: Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Virginia; Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego; Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Connecticut; Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas; Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, California; Xavier Alex Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Maryland; and Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio. The sailors were originally reported missing following the crash, and their bodies were later discovered in the ship's flooded compartments.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucion, commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet, said the damage to the destroyer was "significant," and the crew's response was "swift and effective." Most of the sailors were asleep when the destroyer and ship collided, he said, and "heroic efforts prevented the flooding from catastrophically spreading which could have caused the ship to founder or sink. It could have been much worse." The destroyer's captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was airlifted from the ship with a head injury, and two other crew members with cuts and bruises were taken to a hospital. Aucion said Benson's cabin was destroyed and he's "lucky to be alive."

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