The crash happened at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, and the Navy requested Japan's Coast Guard's assistance.
Seven sailors are missing after the USS Fitzgerald, a guided-missile destroyer, collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, according to a statement from the US Navy's 7th Fleet.
The crash occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, and Japan's coast guard was reportedly on the scene to assist conducting medical evacuations. So far, at least three sailors are said to have been evacuated.
The US Navy also said that the ship suffered damage on starboard side, above and below the waterline, and that it had begun to take on water. The commanding officer was reportedly incapacitated and the executive officer is in command, according to Navy Times.
The Fitzgerald is reportedly able to sustain itself using its own power; however, is "limited" in movement. Two US Navy tugs were also dispatched to provide assistance.
"As more information is learned, we will be sure to share to it with the Fitzgerald families and when appropriate the public," read a statement from Adm. John Richardson. "All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Fitzgerald crew and their families."
The Fitzgerald had recently made a port call to the US Navy's Subic Bay base in the Philippines and conducted patrols in the South China Sea.
The Fitzgerald maintains constant contact with Japan as it is forward-based in Yokosuka.