TOKYO (AP) – The U.S. Navy says it still believes that a collision between the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a container ship occurred at 2:20 a.m., even though Japanese coast guard officials say it happened about an hour earlier.
Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a Navy spokesman, said Monday that the destroyer reported to officials that it collided at 2:20 a.m. Saturday with the Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Yokosuka near Tokyo. Seven American sailors died in the crash.
Coast guard officials said they have revised the time of the collision to 1:30 a.m. from their earlier estimate of 2:20 a.m. after interviewing crewmembers of the container ship, the ACX Crystal.
A track of the container ship’s route by MarineTraffic, a vessel-tracking service, shows it made a sudden turn as if trying to avoid something at about 1:30 a.m., before continuing eastward. It then made a U-turn and returned around 2:30 a.m. to the area near the collision.
“That (1:30 a.m. crash time) is not our understanding,” Flanders told The Associated Press. He said any differences would have to be clarified in the investigation.
The U.S. Navy has identified the seven sailors who died in a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship off Japan on Saturday.
– Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia
– 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
– Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio