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Navy holds memorial for sailors killed in USS Fitzgerald collision

The US Navy held a memorial ceremony Tuesday for seven sailors killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off Japan's coast on June 17.

The service was held at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, the naval base where the USS Fitzgerald is based.

Two local men were among the seven Navy sailors killed when the USS Fitzgerald crashed with the Philippine merchant ship ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan.

Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego, and Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, were identified as two of the victims. They were trapped with five others in a flooded berthing compartment after the crash about 56 nautical miles off the coast of Honshu, Japan.

The others killed were Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Va.; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Conn.; Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Md.; and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio.

The two ships collided on the Fitzgerald’s starboard side directly next to the berthing area, where sailors sleep. The impact ripped the Fitzgerald open and caused water to pour in.

Initial reports suggest that the collision occurred at 1:30 a.m., but the container ship crew did not automatically realize it had happened. The ship turned back and it appears the collision was then formally reported around 2:20 a.m.

The US Navy, the US Coast Guard, and Japanese naval and maritime authorities are all conducting investigations.