House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith vowed Sunday to "closely monitor the details" of the USS Fitzgerald collision after the deaths of seven sailors.

"This tragic event is a reminder of the way our country's finest are putting themselves at risk all over the world every day in defense of the United States," the Washington Democratic congressman said in a statement.

The USS Fitzgerald and the ACX Crystal, a container ship, collided off the coast of Japan on Saturday.

"We will closely monitor the details of this incident and ensure that we can better understand how such accidents can be prevented in the future," Smith said.

The Navy destroyer nearly sank after the collision. The bodies of the sailors were found in berthing cabins.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the lost sailors," Smith said. "We are grateful for the work of the men and women responding to this accident and the invaluable aid provided by our Japanese allies."