WATERTOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– A Connecticut sailor was killed in the deadly collision between a cargo ship and the U.S.S. Fitzgerald in Japan.
The bodies of seven sailors were found in the flooded wreckage of the Navy destroyer including a sonar technician from Watertown.
Naval officials say Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc Truong Huynh, 25, was one of the seven who died. He’s from the Oakville section of the town of Watertown.
“He’s remembered as a respectful student. We’re obviously proud of his service and our sympathies go to his family and friends,” said Watertown High School principal, Paul Jones. Jones says they will honor him tomorrow night at graduation. “We always recognize our graduates who are going into the armed services as well as those in the crowd who have served our country, and we’ll recognize him at that service.”
Investigators are now trying to figure out what went wrong. So far, they say on Saturday the U.S.S. Fitzgerald, a navy destroyer, collided with a Philippine container ship.
— Laura Hutchinson (@LauraHutch8) June 19, 2017
“They had to fight for the ship to keep it above the surface. And, so, it was traumatic. This was a severe emergency but the ship’s crew was swift and responsive and I can’t tell you how proud I am of the crew for what they did to save the ship,” said Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Commander U.S. 7th fleet
Four other sailors and the ship’s commanding officer were medically evacuated from the naval destroyer. No one was reported injured on the other ship.
All of the deceased range in age from 19 to 37.
Governor Dannel Malloy ordered that flags be flown at half-staff to honor Huynh and the other sailors.
“I grieve for the family. The family didn’t expect this to happen. We’re here for the family. We send our thoughts and prayers to the family,” said Commander for the Oakville VFW and Navy veteran, Joseph Ostroski. They flew their flag at half-staff this morning.
“I just want to pray for him and pray for the families,” said Oakville VFW’s Richard DiFederico. “The family has us here behind them. All they have to do is make that phone call and we’re here.”
The town of Watertown also released statements on Huynh’s death:
On behalf of the citizens and residents of Watertown/Oakville, I would like to say we are deeply saddened by the loss of one our residents, Ngoc T Truong Huynh. Ngoc was killed in a tragic accident aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Fitzgerald on which he served our country. We would also like to express our deepest sympathies to his family.”
Plainville High School, where Huynh also attended high school released a statement:
Plainville High School is saddened to hear about the loss of Tan Ngol Huynh, our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, crew members, and all those who knew him. Tan is remembered by faculty and staff at Plainville High School as a kind-hearted, respectful, and polite young man.”