USS John S. McCain collides with merchant ship near Strait of Malacca
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) maneuvers alongside the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Shields/Released)
SOUTH CHINA SEA - The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca on Aug. 21.
According to the Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet website, the collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore.
Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. The extent of damage is being determined.
The U.S. Navy says 10 sailors are missing and five were injured.
Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities. In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, the Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Gallant (97), RSN helicopters and Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are currently in the area to render assistance.
MV-22s and SH-60s from USS America are also responding.
The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port.
Alnic MC is a 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.
This comes just weeks after the USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision.
It is the second collision involving a Navy ship in the Pacific in two months. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship hit each other in waters off Japan.
The Japan-based 7th fleet said the McCain was heading to Singapore for a routine port visit.
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 the Navy's website.
John S. McCain family members may call the following numbers for updates: commercial from Japan: 046-816-1728; commercial from US: 011-81-46-816-1728; DSN in Japan: 243-1728; DSN from US: 315-243-1728.
U.S. Sen. John McCain says he is praying for the sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain after the warship collided with a tanker in Southeast Asian waters.
The Arizona Republican tweeted: "Cindy & I are keeping America's sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight - appreciate the work of search & rescue crews."
The senator is a Navy veteran whose father and grandfather were decorated for their actions in the Pacific in World War II. Both elder McCains became admirals and the ship is named for them.
President Trump tweeted Sunday night: "Thoughts & prayers are w/ our US Navy sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain where search & rescue efforts are underway."