Fil-Am sailor among 7 killed in US destroyer collision
MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino-American was among the seven sailors who died following the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal off Yokosuka in Japan on Saturday.
The US Navy, which promised a full investigation, said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, from Chula Vista in California and Pasay City in the Philippines, died with six others after the incident.
The 23-year-old Sibayan had been with the US Navy for four years.
His mother Carmen told NBC 7 that he was less than a month from coming home.
“If you never met my son, you missed a whole lot. In every sense of the word he is my hero… The way Carlos is, when you need help, he’ll help you with his whole being,” she said.
Carmen said she reached out to other families after the collision. “I didn’t know that my son was the one that was going to leave us.” She said when her husband was away Carlos became the “dad” of the family.
Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley promised an investigation into the incident.
“In due time, the US Navy will fully investigate the cause of this tragedy,” Stackley said in a statement.
The Navy identified the other six as 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; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37.
The Navy said their remains were located in flooded berthing compartments, after divers gained access to the spaces that were damaged in the collision.
US 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said USS Fitzgerald experienced extensive damage and flooding after a collision with ACX Crystal at about 56 nautical miles off the coast of Honshu, Japan.