A Filipino-American was among the seven fatalities of the collision between a US Navy destroyer and a Philippine-flagged vessel off Yokosuoka, Japan.
This surfaced despite an announcement lby the Department of Foreign Affairs over the weekend that no Filipino died from the incident.
The Fil-American crew was identified as Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23 years old, who hailed from Pasig City and is currently a resident of Chula Vista in San Diego, California.
Sibayan was one of the sailors trapped in the flooded hold of the destroyer Fitzgerald.
In a tribute written for Sibayan in the San Diego Union Tribune, the Fil-American sailor was described as witty and the kind of person that often makes everybody laugh.
“There was never a time that Carlos wasn’t making people laugh,” Sibayan’s fellow cadet in Chaparral High School’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Chase Cornils said.
“He always had a cheerful attitude and a smile on his face. When I think of Carlos, I can only remember an extremely happy guy who was willing to help all of his friends,” he added.
The news agency said that Sibayan and another sailor from San Diego, Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25. Yeoman 3rd Class, were among the fatalities of the collision.
The agency said that both will be remembered as brave and kind men who loved their country, their shipmates and their Navy.
The USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel on Sunday at 2:30 a.m. (Manila Time) within 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka.
The DFA had reported that no Filipino was hurt in the collision.
“Further to our earlier statement, the PHL Embassy in Tokyo has been advised by Japanese authorities that there are no Filipino casualties so far from the collision that happened at 2:30 a.m. today about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan,” the DFA’s statement said on Saturday.
It added that the Philippine-flag vessel, ACX Crystal, was manned by 20 Filipino crewmen, including a Filipino captain.
“They are safe. The ship itself was slightly damaged from the incident,” the DFA added.
It also said that the Filipino crewmen had been told not to leave the ship while it was ported at Tokyo Bay pending their interview by Japanese authorities.
The DFA said it had sent a team to meet and assist the Filipino crewmen.
Seven sailors, who were earlier reported missing has been found dead inside the wrecked ship while at least three others were injured.
Three more aboard the destroyer had been medically evacuated, including the vessel’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, who has been airlifted to the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka.
The report said Benson is now in stable condition, while the other two injured were transferred to the hospital for lacerations and bruises, while their other injuries were still being assessed.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.