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USS John S. McCain Collision: AIS Animation Shows Tanker’s Track During Collision

USS John S. McCain Collision: AIS Animation Shows Tanker’s Track During Collision

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 243
August 22, 2017

Here is a look at the AIS track of the oil tanker Alnic MC showing Monday’s collision with the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain. 

The AIS data and video is provided by VesselFinder

In the video you can see the tanker approaching Singapore’s easternmost Traffic Separation Scheme when it suddenly turned to port (see 0:50 mark), which we can assume was the result of the collision.

The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore said the collision occurred in Singapore territorial waters, adding that shipping in Singapore Strait was unaffected. 

Full Coverage: USS John S. McCain Collision

The Navy said the collision occurred at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, which is consistent with the AIS animation, east of the Strait of Malacca and Singapore as the McCain was transiting to Singapore for a routine port visit. The destroyer sustained major damage to her port side aft. 

Athens-based Stealth Maritime Corporation has confirmed that its managed tanker Alnic MC was involved in the collision while the ship was transiting from Mai Liao in Taiwan to Singapore with a partial load of 12,000MT of fuel at the time of the incident.

The company said the Alnic MC sustained a gash to the starboard side bow above the waterline. It said there were no injuries sustained by the crew and no reported pollution.

The screengrab below shows the location of the Alnic MC at around the time the collision likely occurred. Keep in mind the tanker’s damage was on its starboard bow, while the destroyer’s damage was on its port aft. Unfortunately, government and military vessels typically do not transmit AIS data, so we do not have the track of the John S. McCain:

The Alnic MC is now anchored at Singapore’s eastern anchorage for inspections.

The Singapore Strait, measuring 105 km long and 16 km wide, is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. According to the website, there were about 268 cargo vessels over 50,000 DWT (same type and size as the Alnic MC) in the Singapore Strait around the time of the collision. 

The collision is under investigation by the U.S. Navy, the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau.

The Alnic MC is a 183-meter oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000. The ship is flagged in Liberia. 

Damage to the USS John S. McCain


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