Filipino among 7 U.S. Navy sailors killed in Japan ship collision

Rappler.com
Filipino among 7 U.S. Navy sailors killed in Japan ship collision
“There was never a time that Carlos wasn't making people laugh,” said Sibayan's friend Chase Cornils.

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino is among the 7 sailors who died in a fatal crash between a US Navy ship and a Philippine-flagged container ship off Japan’s coast on Saturday, June 17.

The US Navy released on Monday, June 19 the names of all 7 sailors found dead inside the USS Fitzgerald‘s flooded sleeping quarters.

“The remains of 7 sailors previously reported missing were located in flooded berthing compartments, after divers gained access to the spaces,” the navy said. 

The deceased are: 

  • Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19
  • Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25
  • Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25
  • Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23
  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24
  • Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37 

According to details from his Facebook page, Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan is from both Chula Vista, California and Pasay City in the Philippines. In a post, Carlos Sibayan’s mother Carmen Ganzon Sibayan said that he has “come home to his Creator.”

“There was never a time that Carlos wasn’t making people laugh,” Chase Cornils, Sibayan’s fellow Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “He always had a cheerful attitude and a smile on his face. When I think of Carlos, I can only remember an extremely happy guy who was willing to help all of his friends.”

Cornils added that Sibayan was “extremley excited to join and start his career in the navy.”

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune report, Sibayan joined the Navy on April 3, 2013 and after entry level training at Great Lakes and in Virginia, he reported to the Fitzgerald on July 31, 2014. An Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, he had been promoted on January 16, 2016.

Several other US crew members were injured in the accident and had to be evacuated by air to hospital, including the vessel’s commanding officer Bryce Benson. 

The accident happened 56 nautical miles (104 km) southwest of Yokosuka, in a busy shipping channel that is a gateway to major container ports in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama.

There have reportedly been several collisions involving large vessels in the area over the past 5 years.

The container ship, the 222-meter Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal, came into port with large scrapes on its bow, but none of its 20 Filipino crew were injured, Japan’s coastguard said.

The accident is under investigation.  – with reports from Agence France-Presse / Rappler.com

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