Search crews combed the waters near Singapore Monday for 10 missing U.S. sailors after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker left a massive hole in the destroyer’s hull.
The McCain’s collision with the Alnic MC caused “significant damage” to the destroyer’s hull, resulting in flooding in the crew berths, machinery and communications rooms, the Navy’s 7th Fleet said.
A damage control response prevented further flooding.
Vessels and aircraft from the U.S., Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are involved with the search for the missing sailors.
Ten sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with vessel
There was no immediate explanation for the collision, the second involving a destroyer from the navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months.
The destroyer Fitzgerald collided with a freighter off the coast of Japan on June 17, killing seven sailors.
The unusual crashes involving the ships — among the most high-tech in the world — prompted the Navy to initiate a broad investigation of the Pacific fleet, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, will also call for a rare pause in operations across the entire Navy to assess safety protocols. The assessment will be done over the course of weeks.
Four other sailors aboard the McCain were evacuated by a Singaporean navy helicopter, and were receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, the Navy said. A fifth sailor did not require further medical attention.
President Trump responded to news of the collision, saying, “That’s too bad,” according to pool reports.
Trump later tweeted, “Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway.”
The ship is named for Sen. John McCain’s grandfather and father, who both were Navy admirals.
“Cindy & I are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain in our prayers tonight – appreciate the work of search & rescue crews,” McCain, an Arizona Republican and retired Navy captain, tweeted.
No crew members were injured on the Liberian-flagged Alnic.
With News Wire Services
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