Search continues for missing US Navy sailors, investigation ordered

World Today

The Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is moored pier side at Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The USS John S. McCain was docked at Singapore’s naval base with “significant damage” to its hull after an early morning collision with the Alnic MC as vessels from several nations searched Monday for missing U.S. sailors. (Grady T. Fontana/U.S. Navy photo via AP)

A multinational search is continuing for 10 sailors missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker early on Monday morning. 

CGTN’s Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Follow Rian Maelzer on Twitter @rdamael

Singapore and Malaysia have deployed aircraft and sea vessels to search for the missing sailors, with navy vessels from the U.S. and Indonesia also joining in.

Four sailors who suffered non-life threatening injuries were airlifted to Singapore for medical treatment.

The collision left a gaping hole in the navy vessel, flooding parts of the ship, including a crew sleeping area.

This is the second such collision in two months, which prompted the U.S. Navy today to order a halt in operations and a safety review of its Pacific-based 7th Fleet.

In June, the USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship collided off the coast of Japan. Seven American sailors died in the incident. Crews found their bodies in flooded sleeping quarters.

The most recent collision happened around 4.5 nautical miles off the southeastern coast of Malaysia. But because it was near a tiny island claimed by Singapore and Malaysia, both countries say the accident was in their territorial waters and that they are leading search and rescue efforts.

Malaysia’s coast guard chief said the question of in whose waters the accident occurred must be secondary to search and rescue efforts.