Metro-East News

Illinois sailor tried to save shipmates after Fitzgerald collision, mother says

In this photo released by Japan’s Defense Ministry, an injured USS Fitzgerald personnel is carried by U.S. military personnel, left, and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force members upon arriving to the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the Izu Peninsula on Saturday, June 17.
In this photo released by Japan’s Defense Ministry, an injured USS Fitzgerald personnel is carried by U.S. military personnel, left, and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force members upon arriving to the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the Izu Peninsula on Saturday, June 17.

A U.S. Navy sailor from Herrin, Illinois, who survived the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship, dove multiple times to try and save shipmates as the ship flooded, his mother told the Associated Press.

Brayden Harden, 19, was knocked out of his bunk when the two ships collided Saturday around 2:20 a.m., said mother Mia Sykes of Raleigh, North Carolina. Harden told his mother that four men in his sleeping berth and three in the berth above him did not survive, according to the Associated Press.

Sykes said she hopes her son can now come home to try and work through the traumatic event.

The crash, which occurred off the coast of Japan, remains under investigation and the cause of the collision is not yet known.

On Sunday, the Navy called off a search for seven missing sailors after divers found several bodies in the ship’s flooded compartments.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6

  Comments