Ten U.S. Sailors are reported as missing after their destroyer struck a merchant ship off the coast of Singapore in the early hours of Monday morning. The USS John S. McCain struck the merchant vessel Alnic MC while maneuvering into port in Singapore. The accident happened at 5:24 local time.
A Navy official who spoke with CNN added that the McCain was flooding in several places and had “limited propulsion and electrical power.”
— 7th Fleet (@US7thFleet) August 20, 2017
10 Sailors are missing, five others are injured. Search and rescue is underway now, and the Navy has been joined by Marine Ospreys from the amphibious assault ship USS America. Singapore has also sent ships and helicopters to the area.
The Alnic MC is a 30,000-ton, 600-foot-long oil tanker that sails from Liberia. The McCain is smaller, at 505 feet, and only displaces 9,000 tons. It is currently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.
This is another tragic day for the Navy. The collision is the fourth this year. Back in June, the USS Fitzgerald struck a container ship off the coast of Japan. Seven Sailors were killed. In that instance, the crew of the Fitzgerald was found to be at fault.
“The collision was avoidable and both ships demonstrated poor seamanship. Within Fitzgerald, flawed watch stander teamwork and inadequate leadership contributed to the collision,” a 7th Fleet statement said.
In May, the USS Lake Champlain was collided with a fishing boat off the coast of Korea. And back in January, the USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay.
The USS John S. McCain is in the region as part of the regional missile defenses for Guam and other allies. The ship is equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system.
As CNN notes, the ship “is named for the father and grandfather of US Sen. John McCain. Both of McCain’s relatives were US Navy admirals. The senator was a captain in the US Navy.”