Remains of US sailors recovered following warship's collision with oil tanker
Navy divers searching a flooded compartment of the USS John S. McCain found remains of some of the 10 sailors missing in a collision between the warship and an oil tanker, the US Pacific Fleet commander said today as he promised a full investigation.
Adm. Scott Swift also said at a news conference in Singapore, where the McCain is now docked, that Malaysian officials had found one body, but it had yet to be identified and it was unknown whether it was a crew member.
The collision before dawn on Tuesday near Singapore tore a gaping hole in the McCain’s left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments including crew berths and machinery and communication rooms. Five sailors were injured.
“The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search today,” Swift said, adding that it was “premature to say how many and what the status of recovery of those bodies is.”
“We will continue the search and rescue operations until the probability of discovering sailors is exhausted,” Swift said.
He would not say where in the destroyer the bodies were found.
It was the second major collision in two months involving the Pacific-based 7th Fleet, and the Navy has ordered a broad investigation into its performance and readiness.
Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in waters off Japan.