NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The United States Navy released photos of the seven sailors who died when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided off the coast of Japan on June 17, 2017.
In the hours after the collision, officials believed several missing sailors might have been lost at sea, so vessels from the U.S. Navy and Japan's coast guard searched the area for them.
However, the collision flooded sleeping compartments with seawater, trapping the seven sailors. Navy divers recovered their bodies after the badly damaged destroyer returned to a Navy base in Japan.
Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley said in a statement that he and the Navy were saddened by the loss.
"[W]e 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," Stackley said. "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."
Stackley added that the Navy will investigate what led to the collision with the much larger Philippine-flagged container ship.
The names of the sailors who perished:
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