Published: Wed, August 23, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Remains of sailors found on USS McCain

Remains of sailors found on USS McCain

U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said an global search-and-rescue operation had found some remains and that the wider search for 10 sailors missing from the accident would continue until all hope was exhausted.

The USS John S. McCain has docked at Singapore's naval base with "significant damage" to its hull after an early morning collision with an oil tanker as vessels from several nations searched Monday for 10 missing USA sailors.

After the collision, adjacent compartments on the McCain - including crew berth, machinery and communications rooms - flooded, according to the Navy, which added that a damage-control response prevented the situation from becoming more serious.

Ten American sailors are missing, and Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia are assisting the the search. Naval ships from Singapore and Malaysia were aiding the U.S. Navy in a massive search that was continuing Tuesday, Swift said.

"Equipped with surface supplied air rigs, divers will access sealed compartments located in damaged parts of the ship", the 7th Fleet's statement says.

"Until we have exhausted any potential of recovering survivors or bodies, the search and rescue efforts will continue", he said.

Earlier, another US Navy official had told CNN that early indications were the destroyer experienced a loss of steering right before the collision, but that steering had been eventually regained after the collision.

The collision is the second involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months.

It comes only two months after the USS Fitzgerald's collision with a Philippine container ship in the middle of the night off the coast of Japan.

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"Make no mistake", Swift said Tuesday, "our sailors on these ships are doing critical work at sea".

The US warship was transiting to Singapore for a routine port visit when it collided with Liberian-flagged oil and chemical tanker Alnic MC.

The family says they are remaining hopeful, and are awaiting more news from the U.S. Navy. Swift said four had been immediately flown by Singapore navy helicopters to a Singapore hospital, and the fifth was hospitalized when the ship reached Singapore. The incident resulted in the deaths of seven U.S. sailors.

The Kennedy's commanding officer was relieved from his duties following an investigation into the incident.

On Monday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson ordered a service-wide operational pause and a broad review of naval practices in the Pacific in the wake of the latest collision.

The McCain collision was the Navy's fourth major accident at sea in Asia this year. America will also support ongoing searches for 10 missing Sailors. The ship is named for his grandfather John Sidney McCain Sr. and his father, John Sidney McCain Jr.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is issuing hourly broadcasts asking passing boats and ships to keep watch for any people in the water after Monday's collision.

In a statement last week, the 7th Fleet said the June 17 collision "was avoidable, and both ships demonstrated poor seamanship".

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