10 Navy Sailors Missing After U.S. Destroyer Collides With Oil Tanker

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The USS John S. McCain, a U.S. Navy destroyer ship, collided with a oil tanker off the coast of Singapore early Monday morning. The Navy reports that there are 5 injured from the collision, and 10 sailors are currently missing. The Navy and Coast Guard have launched a rapid search for the missing sailors, with the help of the Royal Malaysian Navy, Indonesia, Singapore, local merchant ships, and tug boats.

The Navy has not released any information about the identities of the 10 missing sailors as of this time.

“The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21,” the Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement. “The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities.”


Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton -- Damage to the USS John S. McCain can be seen at the waterline.

Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton — Damage to the USS John S. McCain can be seen at the waterline.

An Osprey aircraft and multiple Seahawk rescue helicopters have been deployed from the USS America for the search and rescue operation.

“Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding,” according to the U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs. The USS John S. McCain was able to make its way to Changi Naval Base in Singapore, where it docked. The USS America, an amphibious assault ship, docked at the Changi Naval Base shortly after the Osprey and Seahawk helicopters were deployed.

According to the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority, the Alnic MC was carrying 12,000 tons of oil and was damaged 20 feet above the waterline, but no crew members were injured in the collison. “There is no report of oil pollution and traffic in the Singapore Strait is unaffected,” said the port authority.


Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey T. Jones -- A Seahawk helicopter takes off from a 7th Fleet vessel.

Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey T. Jones — A Seahawk helicopter takes off from a 7th Fleet vessel.

The search and rescue operation continues as the military frantically tries to find the 10 missing sailors. Updates will be posted on the situation as they become available.

The 7th Fleet Public Affairs said on Twitter that a family assistance center has been set up. Families can call 011-81-46-816-1728 (international) or 243-1728 (DSN on base).

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our shipmates onboard the USS John S. McCain,” Richard Spencer, Secretary of the Navy, said in a statement. “The Navy family comes together during times of crisis and I want to thank those who are providing around-the-clock assistance to the affected Sailors and families.”

The Veterans Site joins with the Navy and the nation in the hope of a quick and successful rescue of the 10 missing sailors.

Footage below shows the visible damage to the USS John S. McCain moored at Changi Naval Base.

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Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.