7 reported missing after US Navy ship collision off Japan; Wisconsin native among injured

TOKYO — The U.S. Navy 7th Fleet says two crew members, including the captain, have been evacuated from a Navy destroyer that collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors are missing and a Wisconsin native is among the injured.

Commanding Officer Bryce Benson is from Green Bay, Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University. Benson is one of the three injured aboard the USS Fitzgerald. He was flown to a nearby hospital. The Navy says he is in stable condition.

The Latest on a U.S. Navy ship collision (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

The U.S. Navy 7th Fleet says two crew members, including the captain, have been evacuated from a Navy destroyer that collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors are missing.

The Navy said in a statement that Cmdr. Bryce Benson, the ship’s commanding officer, was evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, home base of the 7th Fleet. It says he was in stable condition.

Details on the second injured person being evacuated were not immediately available.

Navy chief Adm. John Richardson says Navy, Japanese maritime defense vessels and the Japanese coast guard are working to stabilize the badly damaged ship.

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This item clarifies that Richardson is the head of Navy.

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8:45 a.m.

Relatives of crew members of a U.S. Navy ship that collided with a merchant ship off Japan are awaiting news of their loved ones.

Rita Schrimsher of Athens, Alabama, said “of course we’re nervous and scared and just praying.”

Her grandson Jackson Schrimsher is a 23-year-old sailor aboard the USS Fitzgerald. She said she last communicated with him via Facebook messenger on Wednesday.

Seven crew members are unaccounted for after the U.S. destroyer collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship early Saturday morning. At least one was injured.

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8:30 a.m.

The U.S. Navy says the USS Fitzgerald suffered damage below the water line on its starboard side after it collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship.

It says the destroyer’s propulsion is limited.

The Navy says the USS Dewey, medical assistance and two Navy tugs are being dispatched as quickly as possible. Naval aircraft are also being readied to help.

The Japan Coast Guard has confirmed that seven crew members are missing and one is injured. The injured sailor had a head injury, but the details of his or her condition were unknown.

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8 a.m.

The Japan Coast Guard has confirmed that seven crew members of a U.S. Navy destroyer are missing after a collision with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship off the coast of Japan.

Japan Coast Guard official Takeshi Aikawa said the USS Fitzgerald reports that seven are unaccounted for and one is injured.

The injured sailor had a head injury, but details of his or her condition were unknown.

Footage from Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a person in a stretcher being lifted from the deck to a Japan Coast Guard helicopter.

Aikawa said the U.S. ship is partially flooded because of damage and not capable of moving by itself.

He added that so far no damage or injuries to the container ship or its crew members have been reported.

The coast guard dispatched five patrol ships and an aircraft carrying medics to the site for search and rescue operations.

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7:45 a.m.

Japanese broadcaster NHK reports that one person is injured and seven others unaccounted on a U.S. Navy ship after it collided with a merchant vessel in waters off Japan.

NHK footage on Saturday morning showed a person in a stretcher being taken up to a helicopter from the deck of the USS Fitzgerald.

The Navy said that the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. A U.S. defense official said there is flooding in three compartments of the Fitzgerald.

The U.S. 7th Fleet says on its Facebook page that it is working with the Japanese Coast Guard to conduct a medical evacuation for a sailor by helicopter, and that there are currently no reports of deaths.

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7:15 a.m.

A U.S. Navy destroyer has collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan, the U.S. military said, and there have been injuries.

The U.S. 7th Fleet said on its Facebook page that the collision was with Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal. It says the Japanese Coast Guard is on scene.

Live footage shot from a helicopter Saturday morning by Japanese broadcaster NHK showed heavy damage to the mid-right side of the Navy ship, which appeared to be stationary in the water. People were standing on various parts of the deck.

The Navy said that the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. A U.S. defense official said there is flooding in three compartments of the Fitzgerald, and there were injuries.

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7 a.m.

A U.S. Navy destroyer has collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan, the U.S. military said, and there have been injuries.

In a brief written statement, the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii said the Navy has requested assistance from the Japanese Coast Guard.

Live footage shot from a helicopter Saturday morning by Japanese broadcaster NHK showed heavy damage to the mid-right side of the Navy ship, which appeared to be stationary in the water. People were standing on various parts of the deck.

The Navy said that the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, a city south of Tokyo that is home to a U.S. Naval base. A U.S. defense official said there is flooding in three compartments of the Fitzgerald, and there were injuries.

The Pacific Fleet said the extent of injuries and damage to the Fitzgerald are “being determined,” and the incident is under investigation.