SOUTH CHINA SEA – Guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca this morning
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.
This warship is named after John S. McCain, Sr., and John S. McCain, Jr., both Admirals in the United States Navy.
John S. McCain, Sr., commanded the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, and acted as commander of the Fast Carrier Task Force during the latter stages of World War II.
In April 2013, John S. McCain was sent to Korea during escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula. In June 2014 the destroyer was sent to Subic Bay to perform in CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training) exercises.
On 2 October 2016, USS John S. McCain and USS Frank Cable made the first port visit by US Navy ships to Cam Ranh Bay since end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
A US Navy statement reads:
“The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) has arrived at Changi Naval Base following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21.
The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time. 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.
There are currently 10 Sailors missing and five injured. Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Singapore Armed Forces helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured Sailor does not require further medical attention.
A family assistance center has been established. Families can call 011-81-46-816-1728 (international) or 243-1728 (DSN on base).
Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities. The Republic of Singapore Fearless-class patrol ships RSS Gallant (97), RSS Resilience (82), and Singaporean Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are in the area rendering assistance.
Additionally, MH-60S helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys from the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) are in the area providing search and rescue assistance.
Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.
The incident will be investigated.“