Navy stops search for 7 missing sailors after bodies found

Damaged USS Fitzgerald is seen at Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Navy divers found the bodies of missing sailors Sunday aboard the stricken USS Fitzgerald that collided with a container ship Saturday in the busy sea off Japan, the Navy said. (Kyodo News via AP)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) – The commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet says that search and rescue efforts are over for the seven sailors missing after a destroyer collided with a merchant ship in waters off Japan.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin told reporters at a Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, that a number of bodies have been recovered. He wouldn’t say how many, pending notification of next of kin.

The USS Fitzgerald sustained significant damage after a collision with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship on Saturday around 2:20 a.m.

The bodies were found in flooded compartments Sunday after it returned to the base in Yokosuka with the help of tug boats.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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