The US Navy has confirmed that divers have found the remains of some of the missing sailors from the USS John S McCain, as searches continue
The remains of some of the missing sailors from the USS John S McCain have been discovered by divers inside the sealed compartments of the guided-missile destroyer.
The US Navy confirmed the grisly find, and said that the Royal Malaysian Navy had found another body during search and rescue operations east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Work is ongoing to try and establish if this is one of the 10 missing sailors.
Meanwhile, the US Navy has announced that the commander of the Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, has been sacked “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command”.
He is being replaced by Rear Admiral Phil Sawyer.
The USS John S McCain collided with the with the Liberian-flagged oil tanker, Alnic MC, on Monday morning local time. Five sailors on board the destroyer were also injured.
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Commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift said the search for the other missing sailors would continue.
“We are still searching for our missing sailors. That remains our focus,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those sailors and the families of our sailors who were injured”.
The USS John S McCain was sailing to Singapore for a routine port visit when the incident happened.
None of the crew of the 600-foot Alnic MC were injured, although the ship sustained damage to a tank near the front of the vessel. there are no reports of any oil pollution from the tanker, which was carrying around 12,000 tonnes of oil at the time.
The US Navy has confirmed that an investigation into the collision is underway.
The incident is the fourth time this year that a US Navy vessel has been involved in an accident in Asia.
In June, seven sailors died when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship near the Japanese city of Yokosuka.
As a result, the USS Fitzgerald sustained damage below the water line, causing the lower decks to flood.
The seven dead sailors, aged between 19 and 37, were later found by divers.
In May, a guided missile cruiser collided with a South Korean fishing vessel, while in January another cruiser ran aground in Yokosuka.
Ten US Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S McCain was in collision with an oil tanker near Singapore last night.
The incident happened at 6.24am Japan Standard Time (9.24pm GMT).
In a media statement, the US Navy said the guided-missile destroyer had now arrived at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore.
A full scale search and rescue operation is continuing to find the missing 10 sailors.
The collision with the Liberian-flagged oil tanker, Alnic MC, happened east of the Straits of Malacca and the coast of Singapore in the South China Sea.
It resulted in significant damage to the hull of the USS John S McCain, which resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms.
The US Navy said damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding.
It said that search and rescue efforts for the missing 10 sailors continue in coordination with local authorities.
The Republic of Singapore Fearless-class patrol ships RSS Gallant, RSS Resilience, and Singaporean Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark are involved in the operation, along with MH-60S helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys from the amphibious assault ship USS America.
Of the five sailors injured, four 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.
The head of the Malaysian navy posted a photo on social media of the damage to the USS John S McCain’s hull.
The US Navy has confirmed that the incident will be investigated.
A family assistance center has been established. Families can call 011-81-46-816-1728 (international) or 243-1728 (DSN on base).
None of the crew of the 600-foot Alnic MC were injured, although the ship sustained damage to a tank near the front of the vessel.
It has been reported that the tanker was carrying nearly 12,000 tonnes of oil from Taiwan to Singapore at the time of the collision. There are no reports of any oil pollution.
The incident comes after the announcement on Friday about the fatal collision in June between the USS Fitzgerald and the merchant ship, ACX Crystal off Japan. Seven sailors died in the incident.
The Pentagon announced that around a dozen sailors, including the Commanding Officer of the USS Fitzgerald, are to be disciplined.
The USS John S McCain is named after the father and grandfather of US Republican senator, John McCain.
Both men were admirals in the US Navy.
The senator later tweeted that his prayers are with the sailors on board the USS John S McCain.
Its home port is Yokosuka in Japan, and it is assigned to the Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Nicknamed the Big Bad John, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer passed a US Navy inspection for readiness a sea in May.
It was launched on the 26 September 1992, and has a crew of more than 300 sailors and officers.