The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) departed the Changi Naval Base in Singapore for the first time on Thursday following its collision with a merchant tanker back in August.
Over the next few days, the John S. McCain will be towed to deep water where it will rendezvous with the semi-submersible heavy lift ship MV Treasure for its lift to Japan. During the loading operation, the Treasure will ballast down to so that the destroyer can be floated over its submerged deck. Once secure to the deck of the Treasure, it will then raise back up out of the water.
After the process of loading the ship is complete, Treasure will get underway with the John S. McCain to Fleet Activities Yokosuka in Japan, where the destroyer will be repaired.
In recent weeks, John S. McCain crew members, technicians and divers have prepared the ship for the journey by conducting damage assessments and placing key systems in layup maintenance. A patch was also installed over damaged sections of the hull to restore watertight integrity.
The John S. McCain collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on August 21, resulting in the deaths of 10 sailors. The destroyer arrived at Changi Naval Base later that same day.
An investigation is underway to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.