Last week, the United States Navy awarded 36 USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) sailors for their heroic efforts following the June 17th collision between their vessel and a larger merchant vessel in the Tokyo Bay.

Earlier this year, the Navy relieved Commander Bryce Benson, who was seriously injured in the collision, from command of the Fitzgerald, as well as Commander Sean Babbitt and command master chief, Master Chief Petty Officer Brice Baldwin, all of whom were cited for “inadequate leadership” that resulted in the deadly collision.  A number of other sailors were also either relieved or subject to various administrative punishments, such as permanent remarks in their service records or non-judicial punishments.  However, nearly two months after those punishments were handed down, the Navy saw fit to commend those sailors who found themselves amid a chaotic and dangerous situation, and immediately set to work saving lives and, in no uncertain terms, the ship itself, which was taking on water.

“Following the collision, which claimed the lives of seven Fitzgerald Sailors, the crew fought back against progressive flooding across 19 spaces for more than 16 consecutive hours,” according to a Navy news release. “Facing constant peril from flooding, electrocution, structural damage and noxious fumes, these Sailors prevented further loss of life and ultimately saved the ship.”

These sailors were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, which is reserved for those who “distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement or meritorious service,” according to the release.