Fil-Am from San Diego Area among 7 sailors killed in US destroyer
SAN FRANCISCO — Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, a Filipino American from Chula Vista, California was among the seven sailors discovered dead in the berthing areas of destroyer Fitzgerald on Saturday, according to the Japan-based Seventh Fleet.
Officials released their names on Father’s Day, following next of kin notifications to their family members.
“There was never a time that Carlos wasn’t making people laugh,” said Temecula’s Chase Cornils, a fellow cadet in Chaparral High School’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“He always had a cheerful attitude and a smile on his face. When I think of Carlos, I can only remember an extremely happy guy who was willing to help all of his friends,” Cornils added.
The other deceased sailors include:
- Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Va.
- Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Conn.
- Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas.
- Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Md.
- Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio.
While sailing about 64 miles south of Honshu, Japan, the Fitzgerald collided with the ACX Crystal in the early morning of June 17. The Philippine-flagged container ship was nearly four times the destroyer’s size when fully loaded.
The Navy identified a “large puncture” below the Fitzgerald’s waterline, most likely caused by the bow of the ACX Cyrstal, a vessel that sustained relatively light damage. Most of the crew would’ve been sleeping during the impact.
Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the Seventh Fleet, said that three of the warship’s compartments flooded, including a machinery room and a berthing area used by 116 of the destroyer’s crew. Sibayan was likely among those trapped underwater.
Friends said Sibayan was determined to enlist in the Navy as soon as he graduated from high school. Classmate Cornils told the Union-Tribune that Sibayan felt like it was his calling.
“I knew he was extremely excited to join and start his career in the navy and serve our country. He wanted to start as soon as he could,” Cornils added.
Sibayan joined the Navy on April 3, 2013. After entry level training at Great Lakes and in Virginia, he reported to the Fitzgerald on July 31, 2014.
An Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, he had been promoted on Jan. 16, 2016.
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