The bodies of the missing sailors were found in flooded compartments of the USS Fitzgerald, which came close to sinking after a collision with a container ship off Japan tore a gash under the warship's waterline, the US Navy's Seventh Fleet commander said on Sunday.
Sykes says her son told her that four men in his berth, including those sleeping on bunks above and below him died, while three died in the berth above his.
Desperate damage control efforts by the crew managed to save the ship, Vice Admiral Aucoin said.
The Japanese coast guard said it received an emergency call from the container ship, the ACX Crystal, reporting the collision around 2:20 a.m. local time. Navy spokesman Lt. Paul Newell said the victims may have been killed by the impact of the collision or drowned in the flooding.
"I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this hard time", he said, praising United States servicemen in Japan under the allies' bilateral security pact.
Commander Benson took command of the Fitzgerald on May 13.
The Navy ship's starboard side was heavily damaged in the collision, but the vessel later managed to slowly return to its base in Yokosuka, with the assistance of U.S. navy tugboats.
Apart from the berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room also were damaged and began taking in water after the destroyer was rammed mid-right side.
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The 154-metre (500-foot) Fitzgerald - commissioned in 1995 and deployed in the Iraq war in 2003 - was pulled by a tugboat back to its base on Saturday in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo. Bryce Benson, was airlifted from the ship's deck after daybreak Saturday to the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka with a head injury.
The other two were being treated for lacerations and bruises and others injured were being assessed aboard the ship.
The container ship that crashed into a US Navy destroyer, killing as many as seven American sailors, could be liable for "professional negligence", Japanese authorities say. "Thank you to our Japanese allies for their assistance".
The 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer and the ACX Crystal, a 29,000-ton container ship collided off Japan's Izu Peninsula.
But the destroyer, nicknamed the Fighting Fitz within the Navy, suffered severe damage on its starboard side. US aircraft is assisting in the effort, along with several Japanese helicopters and one plane, the 7th Fleet said.The area is particularly busy with sea traffic, said Yutaka Saito of the coast guard.
Nippon Yusen said all of the ACX Crystal's 20-member Filipino crew members were safe.
It's still unclear exactly what happened, but Japanese media reported that the ACX Crystal made a "sharp turn" shortly before the pre-dawn crash, per The Guardian. It is not yet clear how many were found.