Join our crew and become one of the 106,385 members that receive our newsletter.

john s. mccain

170821-N-OU129-030 Tugboats from Singapore assist the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) as it steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo

U.S. Judge Orders Tanker Owner to Pay $44 Million Over Deadly Destroyer Collision

Total Views: 10149
June 15, 2022

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday said the owner of an oil tanker must pay the United States $44.6 million over its role in a 2017 collision between the tanker with a U.S. Navy destroyer in southeast Asia that killed 10 sailors and injured dozens more.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty in Manhattan found Energetic Tank Inc 20% responsible and the United States 80% responsible for the Aug. 21, 2017, collision between the 39,000 metric ton Alnic MC tanker and the USS John S. McCain.

Both vessels had been cruising alongside each other when the McCain, a guided missile destroyer nearing Singapore for a routine port call, veered left.

The bow of the Alnic pierced the McCain’s broadside, causing the destroyer to flood.

Energetic Tank, which court papers say has an office in Monrovia, Liberia, sought to hold the United States responsible for the collision, which caused damage of $185 million to the McCain and $442,445 to the Alnic.

The United States conceded that the McCain bore some blame, but that the Alnic also played a role.

Crotty ruled after a non-jury trial last November.

The $44.6 million includes interest.

Absent objections, a second trial will apportion the money to victims and their families, the judge said. Forty-one wrongful death or personal injury claims were filed.

Neither lawyers for Energetic Tank nor the U.S. Department of Justice immediately responded to requests for comment.

Paul Hofmann, a lawyer for some of the claimants, said the “well-considered” decision will prove “some level of recompense” for sailors and families who suffered grievous injuries.

In 2019, the National Transportation Safety Board said the probable cause of the collision was “a lack of effective operational oversight of the destroyer by the U.S. Navy, which resulted in insufficient training and inadequate bridge operating procedures.” It recommended several safety measures.

The case is In re Energetic tank Inc as owner of the M/V Alnic MC, for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-01359.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Diane Craft)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up


Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 106,385 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

gCaptain’s full coverage of the maritime shipping industry, including containerships, tankers, dry bulk, LNG, breakbulk and more.