MALACAÑANG on Saturday said it will extend necessary assistance to Filipino crew members aboard a Philippine-flagged container ship that collided with United States (US) Navy destroyer southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told state-run dzRB that the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is coordinating with the authorities of Japan and US to closely monitor the reports.
"The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is closely monitoring the situation, in coordination with Japanese and US authorities, after a US Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan," Abella said.
"The embassy said they are ready to extend all necessary assistance to Filipino seamen onboard the ship," he added.
The US Navy, in a statement, said that guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with merchant vessel ACX Crystal at about 2:30 a.m., some 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.
"The USS Fitzgerald suffered damage on starboard side above and below the waterline. [It resulted in] some flooding," it said.
The Navy said it was a “rare incident on a busy waterway,” reportedly leaving seven US Navy sailors missing.
The Japanese Coast Guard reportedly provided immediate assistance following the collision. (SunStar Philippines)