USS McCain arrives at naval base after collision; 10 sailors missing

The U.S. Navy said Monday the USS John S. McCain has arrived at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base after a collision with a merchant vessel — which has left 10 sailors missing.

The 505-foot U.S. guided-missile destroyer and the Alnic MC Liberian-flagged oil and chemical tanker collided east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore.

“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,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement. “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 Singaporean Navy and Police Coast Guard are working with the U.S. military to search for the missing sailors. The American naval fleet has deployed MH-60S helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys from the amphibious assault ship USS America to assist in search and rescue efforts.

“Thoughts & prayers are w/ our [U.S. Navy] sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain where search & rescue efforts are underway,” President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday night.

The USS John S. McCain is named after both the father and grandfather of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who were former admirals in the U.S. Navy.

“Cindy & I are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight – appreciate the work of search & rescue crews,” the senator wrote on Twitter.

The collision marks the second time in two months that a U.S. warship has collided with another ship in the Pacific Ocean near the Asian continent. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship near Japan, killing seven sailors on the ship’s crew.

Ray Downs contributed to this report.

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