SINGAPORE - Aircraft from the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) will continue search efforts today for 10 missing Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).
Ships and aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy joined search efforts yesterday and continue to provide assistance.
Search efforts are focused on an area east of the Strait of Malacca and Singapore where McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC early in the morning on Aug. 21 (as reported 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time) while transiting to Singapore for a routine port visit.
During the collision, John S. McCain sustained significant hull damage that resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding at sea.
John S. McCain and America arrived at Changi Naval Base yesterday afternoon. While both ships are in Singapore, America is providing messing and berthing services to John S. McCain crew members and supporting damage control efforts on board which are focused on dewatering the ship and restoring auxiliary systems. Ship Repair Facility divers have commenced assessments of the hull as well.
Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities. Royal Malaysian Navy ships KD Handalan and two coastal patrol craft Petir (12) and Pang Alang (39) as well as two Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels are on scene today.
Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol ships Noble Pearl (PCG 54) and Noble Knight (PCG 56) joined search efforts as well.
Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.
The incident will be investigated to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.
An Emergency Family Assistance Center has been established. Family members can call 046-816-1728 (commercial from Japan); 011-81-46-816-1728 (Commercial from US); 243-1728 (on base in Japan); or 315-243-1728 (DSN from Japan). Additionally, family can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.