The USS Fitzgerald carrying the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet has stabilized on Saturday following a late-night collision with a Philippine merchant vessel about 56 nautical miles from Yokosuka, Japan, according to the Associated Press. Sailors from the USS Dewey, as well as the Japanese Coast Guard, provided assistance in the aftermath.
Three crew members were injured and airlifted to shore, including the caption, who was reported to be in stable condition. However, seven other sailors remain missing.
It remains unclear what caused the collision with a container ship nearly four times the destroyer's size. After the crash, the USS Fitzgerald relied on its own limited propulsion after suffering significant damage on the right side below the water line.
A U.S. defense official confirmed flooding in three compartments.
The Navy established a phone line for family members to call in to obtain information about their loved ones who may have been on the destroyer.
One particular woman in Alabama was relieved when her 23-year-old grandson, Jackson Schrimsher, contacted her from the USS Fitzgerald saying he was safe. Rita Schrimsher of Athens, Alabama, tweeted: "Just heard the sweetest voice and saw a wonderful face. He's okay. Thank you all for the prayers."
She added, "It could have been worse so we're grateful."