Men from Tennessee Valley part of USS Fitzgerald crew

The USS Fitzgerald suffered damage to its starboard side above and below the waterline after it collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan.

ATHENS, Ala. — Two men from North Alabama are part of the crew of a US destroyer that collided with a Philippine merchant ship off the coast of Japan.

Among those on the crew are 23-year-old Jackson Schrimsher of Athens and 20-year-old Joey Railey of Harvest.

Jackson’s grandmother Rita Schrimsher tells WHNT News 19 the family spoke briefly to him via FaceTime Friday night and that he is safe.  Joey’s family heard from him Saturday morning and tell us that he is also safe.

The Japanese Coast Guard reported that seven U.S. sailors were missing after the collision.