Update: Remains of Missing USS John S. McCain Sailors Found

The divers have located some remains of US Navy sailors that went missing on Monday following a collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and an oil/chemical tanker Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

The information has been revealed by Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift during an update for reporters on the situation aboard USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) in Singapore.

“The US Navy and Marine Corps divers joined the search today, assessing sealed compartments in damaged parts of the ship. The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments,” Admiral Scott said.

Furthermore, according to the admiral, Malaysian Navy said they found potential remains of another body, nevertheless, it remains to be confirmed whether they belong to the missing crew of the US Navy ship.

The body count could not be revealed at this stage, however; activities are said to be underway to remove the remains found inside the US navy ship.

Search and rescue activities resume for the missing sailors, with the support of the Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian navy assets and US Navy aircraft.

The US Navy ship is berthed at Changi Naval Base and has reported significant damage to the hull which resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms.

As informed, further damage is still being assessed.

The Liberian-flagged oil/chemical tanker Alnic MC reached Singapore’s eastern anchorage for inspections on Monday.

The ship sustained a gash to the starboard side of the bow above the waterline. There were no injuries to crew and no reported pollution of the Singapore Strait, according to the ship’s manager, Stealth Maritime Corporation.

The Alnic MC was transiting from Mai Liao in Taiwan to Singapore with a partial load of 12,000MT of fuel oil at the time of the incident, the company explained.

The latest incident is the fourth one this year involving a US Navy vessel, and just two months apart from the USS Fitzgerald collision with a merchant vessel that killed seven sailors.

As a result, the Navy said it was introducing an operational pause across all fleets, including units in the Pacific, in order to assess the ongoing situation and factors that led to the incidents. The review should be completed by August 2018.

The US Navy investigation into the cause of the collision is still in its early stages, however, all potential scenarios are on the table, the Admiral added.

World Maritime News Staff