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Both local families say loved ones on damaged ship are okay

Skylar Click

UPDATE: The bodies of seven missing U.S. sailors were found on USS Fitzgerald. Two local sailors, Skylar Click of Orangefield and Josh Mason of Lumberton, are safe.

Previous report below:

KFDM has learned Skylar Click of Orangefield and Josh Mason of Lumberton are okay and unhurt after the USS Fitzgerald, the Navy destroyer on which they're crew members, collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan.

Seven sailors are reported missing, according to the Japanese Coast Guard.

Josh Mason's family had been waiting for word that he's okay. They told KFDM News at about 8:15 tonight that they had just received a text message from him and Josh is okay.

Tesha Click of Orangefield told KFDM her stepson, Skylar Click, is also on the destroyer and they were waiting to hear from him. Skylar is a Boatswain's mate Seaman.

They found out at about 9 p.m. our time he's okay and also unhurt.

The Japanese Coast Guard says seven sailors are missing. At least two were hurt, including the commander.

In a brief written statement, U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii said the Navy has requested assistance from the Japanese Coast Guard.

It said Friday that the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. A U.S. defense official said there is flooding in three compartments of the Fitzgerald.

Pacific Fleet said the extent of injuries and damage to the Fitzgerald are "being determined," and the incident is under investigation.

Tesha Click says her stepson left for boot camp exactly one year ago--June 16, 2016.

He was deployed to Japan last November and began serving on the USS Fitzgerald late last year or early this year. He's a missile technician.

Click attended Orangefield High School and graduated from a high school in Coldspring.

"We're praying and crying," Tesha Click told KFDM earlier tonight, "while we wait to hear from him."

She later told us she'd learned he was okay.

"We're thankful he's okay," said Tesha, "and thankful for the support from the community."


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