SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — The body of a fallen hero returned home to San Diego Wednesday night, and fellow sailors were there to pay tribute and escort him from the airport to the funeral home in Chula Vista.
A plane carrying the remains of Fire Controlman Second Class Carlos Sibayan touched downed at Lindbergh Field as honor guard lines at the terminal saluted the fallen sailor.
A memorial service was held Tuesday for the seven sailors killed when their destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided earlier this month with a container ship off the coast of Japan.
Among those honored was Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Douglas of Oceanside, who friends say they will forever remember as optimistic, fun and caring. A picture was shared that the Navy took last October of Douglas taking an orphan out for fresh air in South Korea.
Also honored was Chula Vista resident Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Sibayan. The 23-year-old had been in the Navy for 4 years and joined the service to follow in his father's footsteps. Sibayan's remains were scheduled to return home Wednesday night.
About 2,000 people lined the streets in and around the naval base in Yokosuka, Japan where the Fitzgerald is based Tuesday. Inside the ceremony were family, friends and fellow sailors remembering the seven men killed when the container ship slammed into their sleeping compartment.
Meanwhile, the investigation into why the crash happened continues.
A report to the cargo ship's owner from the captain, that was seen by Reuters, said the Fitzgerald's crew failed to react to warning signals in the moments leading up to the crash.
The captain says his ship flashed lights toward the Fitzgerald, but despite that the Navy ship suddenly moved into the the cargo ship's path, giving the ship no chance to avoid the collision.
The Navy says they can't comment because this is an ongoing investigation.