Mother of Navy sailor who survived collision between USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship describes how her son tried in vain to rescue his shipmates from their flooding berth as all seven deceased men are identified

Monday, June 19, 2017
By Paul Martin

Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippines merchant vessel off the coast of Japan Saturday
Seven sailors were missing following the collision; the bodies of which were all found on Sunday
Mia Sykes, mother of US Navy sailor, Brayden Harden, 19, said her son tried to save his shipmates
She said Harden told her that four men in his berth and the berth above his died as water filled their berths
Dakota Rigsby was the first sailor identified Saturday night as missing; Navy confirmed he’s among deceased
Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Connecticut; and Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
As well as Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from California, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Maryland, & Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr, 37, from Ohio
The Navy says damage occurred to the starboard side, above and below the Fitzgerald’s waterline
Bryce Benson was appointed Executive Officer of Fitzgerald in 2015, he took over as Commander last month
During press conference on Sunday Vice Adm Joseph Aucoin said Benson was ‘lucky to be alive’
Aucoin said ship was struck on side where 116 crew members were asleep and Benson’s cabin was destroyed

By VALERIE EDWARDS
DAILYMAIL.COM
19 June 2017

The US Navy released the identities of the seven sailors who were tragically killed after their Navy destroyer collided with a Philippine-flagged container on Saturday.

Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia, was the first sailor to be identified Saturday night. At the time it wasn’t clear whether or not he had survived the collision.

The US Navy confirmed on Sunday that Rigsby, who volunteered for the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department and was a graduate of Fluvanna County High School, was one of the fallen sailors.

Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California, Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland, and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr, 37, from Elyria, Ohio, were identified as the sailors who tragically died in the collision.

‘We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our fellow shipmates as a result of Friday’s collision between USS Fitzgerald and a commercial container ship, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families,’ said Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley.

‘As details emerge, we can all be proud of the heroic effort by the crew to tend to the needs of those injured and save the ship from further damage while returning safely to port.

‘The Navy family comes together during tragic events such as this and I want to thank those who continue to provide around-the-clock assistance to the affected families during these difficult days,’ the statement read.

The Rest…HERE

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