A Filipino American sailor has been confirmed among the dead after a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged merchant ship off the coast of Japan.
Seven sailors died when the Navy destroyer ship was in collision with the 30,000-ton ACX Crystal on Saturday.
Among the dead was Carlos Victor Sibayan of Chula Vista, California, who is originally from Pasay City in Metro Manila.
The 23-year-old Fire Controlman 2nd Class had been in the Navy for four years, serving in Japan for the past three.
Dozens of friends and relatives have taken to his Facebook page to pay tribute to the popular sailor.
Among them was school friend McKenzie Lynn Severn, who wrote: “Sweet Carlos I just heard the news. It was such a great honor to have known you, no matter how short the span. Thank you for all the laughs, you made high school that much better. Rest in peace. Make all the angels laugh too.”
Carlos, sometimes known as ‘Hitch’ came from a family of service, with his father recently retiring from the military.
He and six fellow sailors were found in flooded berthing compartments after the collision to the south of Tokyo Bay.
“Unfortunately we don’t have the details regarding the conditions during their final moments, but hope that the investigation may shed some light on that matter,” US 7th Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin said at a press conference yesterday (Monday, June 19).
“At the same time, I want to express my most heartfelt appreciation to our Japanese allies for their swift support and assistance.”
Both the US Department of Defense and the Japanese Coast Guard are investigating.
The other fatalities have been identified as:
Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia
Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California
Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut
Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland
Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio