USS Fitzgerald: US Coast Guard to interview crew of container ship in collision

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The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday will begin interviewing the Philippines-flagged container ship’s crew that collided last week with a U.S. destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald.

"We are scheduled to interview the crew members," said U.S. Lieutenant Scott Carr told Reuters, referring the crew of the merchant ship.

Japan's coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported. A coast guard official said Monday they are trying to find out what the crew of the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was doing before reporting the collision to authorities 50 minutes later.

The coast guard initially said the collision occurred at 2:20 a.m., as the Philippine ship had reported it at 2:25 a.m. and said it just happened. After interviewing Filipino crewmembers, the coast guard has changed the collision time to 1:30 a.m.

The ACX Crystal collided with the USS Fitzgerald off Japan's coast early Saturday morning, killing seven of the destroyer's crew of nearly 300.

Reuters pointed out that vessels at sea are supposed to give way to ships on their starboard. The report said that even though the collision occurred in Japanese waters, under maritime rules, the u.S. could claim some authority.

The Associated Press contributed to this report