American, Singaporean and Malaysian armed forces on Monday are searching for 10 U.S. sailors missing after an early-morning collision between a Navy destroyer and a tanker near Singapore–the second collision involving a Navy ship in the Asia-Pacific region in two months.
The Navy says five sailors were hurt in Monday’s collision between the USS John S. McCain and the 600-foot Alnic MC, an oil and chemical tanker. The four who required additional treatment were taken by helicopter to Singapore, where the McCain had been headed.
One of the injured, Operations Specialist 2nd Class Navin Ramdhun, posted a Facebook message saying he was OK and awaiting surgery for an arm injury. He told The Associated Press that he was sleeping at the time of the collision and is not sure what happened.
The collision occurred at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time. Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms a Navy statement said. Damage control efforts by the crew prevented further flooding, the statement said.
The ship has arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore. It sailed under its own power, Reuters reported.
The warship is named after John S. McCain, Sr., and John S. McCain, Jr., both Admirals in the U.S. Navy, and the grandfather and father, respectively, of the Arizona senator.
The ship is based at the fleet’s homeport of Yokosuka, Japan. It was commissioned in 1994 and has a crew of 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors, according to the Navy’s website.
President Trump, returning to the White House from his “working vacation,” responded to word of the collision by saying, “that’s too bad.”
Sen. McCain tweeted Sunday night he and his wife, Cindy, were keeping the sailors in their prayers. He’d recently visited the warship in Vietnam.
This marked the fourth mishap for U.S. Navy ships in the Pacific since February.
Aside from the USS McCain and USS Fitgerald incidents, the Navy crusier USS Antietam ran aground dumping over 1,000 gallons of oil in Tokyo Bay in Februray. In May, another cruiser, USS Lake Champlain, hit a South Korean fishing vessel.
An active-duty Navy officer expressed concern to Fox News over the training of young Navy officers aboard ships.
“It’s not the same level of training you used to get,” the officer said.