The US Navy has called off their search for 7 missing sailors on Sunday after search teams discovered bodies in the ship.
At a Navy Base in Yokosuka, Japan, the Commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet revealed the sad news.
Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin did not specify the number of bodies discovered, but did say the identities of the sailors would be released after the families were notified.
The bodies were found in previously flooded compartments, including sleeping quarters.
Searchers gained access to these spaces that were damaged during the collision and brought the remains to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they are to be identified, the Navy said in a statement.
The USS Fitzgerald was back at its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo by sunset Saturday. The Philippine-flagged container ship was berthed at Tokyo’s Oi wharf, where officials were questioning crew members about the cause of the nighttime crash.
The USS Fitzgerald was stabilized by the destroyer USS Dewey.
That destroyer continued on after to join other American and Japanese search parties, including vessels and aircraft, in search for the missing sailors.
U.S. 7th Fleet stated what was damaged due to the crash: two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room.
Since the crash was pre-dawn, most of the 200 sailors on the USS Fitzgerald would have been in their berths, asleep when the Philippine-flagged ship collided.
“Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the sailors,” said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.