Damaged USS John S McCain arrives in Singapore; 10 missing
A general view shows the USS John S McCain guided missile destroyer with a hole on its left side after a collision with an oil tanker, outside the Changi Naval Base in Singapore on August 21, 2017.
SINGAPORE: USS John S McCain docked at Singapore’s naval base with “significant damage” to its hull after a morning crash with an oil tanker while several nations ships sought Monday at 10 missing American sailors.
The collision east of Singapore between the guided missile destroyer and Alnic MC of 183 meters (600 feet) was the second involving a ship of the 7th navy fleet in the Pacific in two months.
Ships and aircraft from the United States, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are looking for the missing sailors. Four sailors were evacuated by a Singapore naval helicopter to a city-state hospital for the treatment of non-fatal wounds, the navy said. A fifth injured sailor does not need any other medical care.
The McCain traveled to Singapore on a regular visit to the port after a sensitive operation of freedom of navigation last week by sailing near one of the Chinese artificial islands in the South China Sea.
The Navy’s 7th fleet said in a statement that the damage to McCain’s hull was flooding the adjacent compartments, including crew berths, machinery and communication rooms. A damage control response prevented further flooding, he said.
The destroyer was damaged on its back side, or left behind, from the collision that occurred at 5:24 am but headed for the port under its own power.
A photo tapped by Malaysian naval chief Ahmad Kamarulamaman Ahmad Badaruddin showed a gaping hole in the side of McCain near the waterline. Janes, a defense industry publication, estimated that the rupture of the hull was 3 meters (10 feet) wide.
One of the wounded sailors, Operations Specialist Navin Ramdhun, posted a Facebook message telling his family and friends that he was OK and was waiting for surgery for an arm injury.
He told The Associated Press in a message that he could not say what happened: “I actually slept at that time, not quite sure.”
The Government of Singapore stated that no member of the crew was injured on Alnic, which suffered damage in a compartment in front of the craft about 7 meters (23 feet) above its line of sight. waterline. There were no reports of spills of chemicals or hydrocarbons.
Singapore sent tugboats and naval vessels and coastguards to search for the missing sailors and Indonesia said it had sent two warships. Malaysia said two ships as well as aircraft from its navy and air force contributed to the search, and USS America deployed Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters.
There was no immediate explanation for the collision, and the Navy said an investigation would be conducted. Singapore, at the southernmost tip of the Malay Peninsula, is one of the most frequented ports in the world and an American ally, with its naval base regularly visited by US warships.