- Second fatal collision by US naval vessel in two months.
Divers Find Remains of US Sailors in John S. McCain Ship Damaged in Collision
Remains of US sailors have been found in the flooded compartments of the US Navy destroyer John S. McCain, which had collided with an oil tanker near Singapore, US Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift said at a briefing.
“The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during the search today. Additionally, the Malaysian navy has reported that they have located potential remains,” Adm. Scott Swift said.
The US destroyer collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC on Monday near the Malacca straits. Five sailors were injured. The US Navy and Marine Corps divers are searching for 10 sailors. They are assisted by two Navy maritime helicopters as well as ships and aircraft from Malaysia and Singapore.
Damage to the destroyer’s hull resulted in flooding to compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms, the US Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a press release on Monday.Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that a probe into recent collisions has been ordered. The defense secretary said there is a separate investigation underway that would determine what happened to US destroyer John S. McCain, which is damaged after colliding with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore.
The collision is the second by a US ship with a civilian vessel in the Seventh Fleet area of operations this summer.
Seven Navy personnel were killed in the Fitzgerald collision, and the ship’s commander was relieved of duty last week.
On Monday, the US suspended operations worldwide after the collision.