Pacific Fleet Commander: Remains of a Number of McCain Sailors Located
CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Republic of Singapore — Adm. Scott Swift, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, said some of the 10 missing USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Sailors were discovered today by divers performing recovery operations inside the guided-missile destroyer, the 7th Fleet announced in an Aug. 22 release.
Swift also said the Royal Malaysian Navy has reported the discovery of potential remains of another missing McCain Sailor, located while the ship was providing search and rescue assistance east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
“We are still searching for our missing Sailors. That remains our focus,” said Swift to a group of international media during a press briefing at Changi Naval Base, where McCain is currently moored. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those Sailors and the families of our Sailors who were injured.”
The search for the missing Sailors has been ongoing since early Aug. 21 following the collision of McCain and merchant vessel Alnic MC. Royal Malaysian Navy coastal patrol craft Petir and Pang Alang, Handalan-class missile boat KD Handalan and Lekiu-class frigate KD Lekiu along with two Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels assisted in Tuesday’s search efforts.
Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol ships Noble Pearl and Noble Knight as well as Singaporean aircraft also aided in the day’s search.
Those vessels were joined by aviation assets from amphibious assault ship USS America, which will continue combing the area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in the vicinity of the collision.
“While the search and rescue efforts continue, I sincerely thank our Singapore partners, our Malaysian partners and everyone who has responded with urgency, compassion and tireless commitment,” Swift said.
McCain was transiting to Singapore for a routine port visit when the collision occurred. Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.
The incident is under investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.