USS John S. McCain Arrives in Singapore After Collision; Photos Show Extent of Damage

USS John S McCain arrives in singapore
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, August 21, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo

Update: Search Continues for Missing John S. McCain Sailors

The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain arrived pier side at Changi Naval Base in Singapore on Monday after it was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time on August 21. Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms, the Navy said. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding. 

Photos of the damage show a large hole above and below the waterline on the port side aft.

The guided-missile destroyer was able to reach port under its own power.

U.S. Navy Photo
U.S. Navy Photo
USS_John_S._McCain_DDG-56-collision-damage
The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, in Singapore waters August 21, 2017. Photo by Ahmad Masood/Reuters

There are currently 10 Sailors missing and five injured. Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Singapore Armed Forces helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured Sailor does not require further medical attention.

U.S. Navy Photo
The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) arrives pier side at Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore, August 21, 2017. 

Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000. The ship is 183 meters in length and 32.2 meters in beam. It was built in 2008.

MT Alnic MC. File photo: MarineTraffic.com/John Wilson

The following is a statement released Aug. 21 by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer on USS John S. McCain:

Our thoughts and prayers are with our shipmates onboard USS John S. McCain. The Navy family comes together during times of crisis and I want to thank those who are providing around-the-clock assistance to the affected Sailors and families.

As details continue to emerge, we can be proud of the heroic effort by the crew to tend to the needs of those injured and save the ship from further damage while returning safely to port.

I also want to express my appreciation to the government of Singapore for their swift support and assistance during this time of need.

The United States Navy will fully investigate the cause of this incident and I ask all of you to keep the families of John S. McCain in your thoughts and prayers as we begin the task of answering the many questions before us.

The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) arrived at Changi Naval Base and will provide messing and berthing services to McCain crew members and to support damage control efforts on board. America will also support ongoing searches for 10 missing Sailors. Ship Repair Facility divers are on scene as well to assess the damage to the hull. 

The Navy said search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities. The Republic of Singapore Fearless-class patrol ships RSS Gallant (97), RSS Resilience (82), and Singaporean Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are in the area rendering assistance.

Additionally, MH-60S helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys from the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) are in the area providing search and rescue assistance.

Families who do not live on base should call 011-81-46-816-1728 (international); families who live on base should call 315-243-1728 (DSN).