Startling new photographs have been released showing previously unseen damage to the USS Fitzgerald.
From Daily Mail
The destroyer collided with a cargo ship off Japan’s Izu Peninsula on June 17, causing the death of seven sailors.
The new pictures, which were released by the Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, were taken while the ship was docked and sailors were inspecting the damage. For the first time, damage down to the hull below the waterline is clearly visible.
A huge hole could be seen in the hull of the ship, which was being patched up and repaired by metal plating and large steel bars being used to secure the plates.
The new photos emerged after CNN reported five of the seven soldiers killed in the accident were almost instantly ‘incapacitated’, and died quickly as a result. However, the other two likely lived much longer and attempted to escape the flooding, but an official told the network ‘the ship somehow lost communication’ with the duo.
The Navy announced last month it was investigating the crash involving the destroyer and the ACX Crystal. The Crystal slammed into the side of the US destroyer off the Japanese coast while much of the rest of the crew were asleep.
The cargo ship’s bow, which protrudes underneath the water, punctured the steel armor of the ship, opening a hole into the quarters where more than 100 sailors slept.
Emergency hatches were closed on the compromised berthing compartments to stop the ship from sinking.
In the aftermath of the accident, David Dykhoff – a retired Navy captain – said: ‘The mentality is that you’re going to fight any catastrophes, any casualties, where they occur and preserve the rest of the ship.
‘And I guarantee that anybody would do everything they could.’
However Stanley Rehm, the uncle of Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr – one of the seven men lost in the crash – claims his nephew had to be sacrificed to save the rest of the crew.
Gary Rehm, 37, rescued more than a dozen of his colleagues as the waters flooded in, and had gone down again to search for more when the hatch was shut on him, Stanley told Fox 8 Cleveland last month.
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