America pulls into Changi Naval Base to support USS John S. McCain
SINGAPORE - Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) arrived Aug. 21 at Changi Naval Base and is moored across the pier from the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).
While in Singapore, America will provide messing and berthing services to McCain crew members and to support damage control efforts on board. America will also support ongoing searches for 10 missing Sailors. Ship Repair Facility divers are on scene as well to assess the damage to the hull.
McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Strait of Malacca and Singapore early in the morning on Aug. 21 (as reported 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time) and arrived at Changi Naval Base in the afternoon.
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 Puma helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured Sailor did not require further medical attention.
Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities. Royal Malaysian Navy ships joined the search this afternoon, providing KD Handalan, KD Gempita, and KM Marudu and a Super Lynx helicopter.
Earlier in the day, Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol ships RSS Gallant (97), RSS Resilience (82), and a Singaporean Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (PH 55) rendered assistance. Gallant along with an SAF Super Puma helicopter and Police Coast Guard vessels Tiger Shark (PH 54) and Sandbar Shark (PH 56) continue to provide assistance.
U.S. Navy MH-60S helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys from USS America are also supporting search efforts at sea.
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.