“Heroic efforts prevented the flooding from catastrophically spreading, which could have caused the ship to founder or sink,” said Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, commander of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet. “It could have been much worse.”
With the aid of tugboats, the Fitzgerald returned on Saturday to its port, the American base at Yokosuka, Japan, south of Tokyo.
As hundreds of anxious spouses, children and fellow sailors waited for word, Navy divers entered flooded compartments below decks and recovered the bodies of seven sailors, according to former Navy officials.
The Navy released the names on Sunday night of the seven sailors who were killed. The victims were all located in flooded berths, the Navy said.
They were identified as Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Va.; Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego; Ngoc T. Truong…