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US Navy guided missile destroyer slams into merchant ship near Japan, begins taking on water

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By Jonah Bennett, DCNF 

The USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel early Saturday morning local time several dozen miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, and now the guided missile destroyer is taking on water.

A Navy release states that following the collision, the Navy has requested assistance from the Japanese Coast Guard, as the extent of the damage and number of personnel injuries are being assessed.

So far, the damage to the Fitzgerald is bad enough that the missile destroyer is starting to take on water, a Navy official told CNN. There is no danger the ship will sink, but emergency procedures have been activated.

The Fitzgerald, which has a crew of 330 sailors, cannot at this time operate under its own power. Tug boats are helping tow the ship.

In February, the ship received $21 million in upgrades and is currently deployed to the region for the purpose of providing stability.

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