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USS Fitzgerald sailors killed during collision identified

CBS Newspath

MARYLAND —  “He’s my only son, he’s all I have.”

Darrold Martin’s 24-year-old son Xavier from Maryland was one of seven soldiers the Navy is now identifying as those killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan.

The U.S. Navy released the names of the deceased sailors Sunday night, CBS News reported:

  • 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

Naval officials said the sailors likely died either from the impact or drowned as the ship quickly took on water.

“It’s a large gash near the keel of the ship, and the water flow was tremendous, so there wasn’t a lot of time,” said Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin, the commander of the US 7th Fleet.

The Navy said since the incident occurred in the very early morning hours, most of the 300 sailors on board were sleeping.

Mia Sykes, the mother of U.S. Navy sailor Brayden Harden told the media her son was thrown from his bunk when the two ships collided.

The berth took a direct hit and quickly began filling with water.

Her 19-year-old said many of his shipmates ran to the guns thinking they were under attack.

However, he stayed behind trying to save others until he ran out of air.

Four of the deceased sailors, he said, were in his berth.

Authorities said the crew is to thank for getting the ship back to shore without any further loss of life.

“As you can see now the ship is still listing and so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface.”

US and Japanese officials continue to investigate what causes these ships to collide in one of the busiest waterways in the world.