Seven sailors are missing and three more, including the commanding officer, were confirmed injured after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel early Saturday off the coast of Japan.
Cmdr. Bryce Benson, who took the helm of the Yokosuka-based destroyer last month, is in stable condition after being evacuated by helicopter to a naval hospital in Yokosuka, Navy officials said.
The other two injured sailors, who received lacerations and bruises, were flown to the same hospital, 7th Fleet announced on its Facebook page.
The collision happened about 2:30 a.m. Saturday about 56 nautical miles (roughly 64 miles) southwest of Yokosuka near the Izu Peninsula, a Navy statement said.
Very difficult at this point to say what happened; the MV was steering what looked like an erratic course, and it’s unclear what kind of information environment the bridge crew on USS Fitzgerald faced.