Update: gCaptain has received photos of the heavy lift vessel MV Treasure with the loaded USS John S. McCain, taken while at anchor in Subic Bay (more photos are posted at bottom). AIS showed the Treasure as anchored in Subic Bay as of Friday, October 27.
October 23: The heavy lift vessel carrying the damaged USS John S. McCain to Japan has been rerouted to the Philippines after the destroyer developed a small crack in its hull during transit, the U.S. 7th Fleet has confirmed to USNI News.
The change of plans comes after crews noticed that the destroyer had developed a crack “about four inches long on the starboard side, amidships” with an accompanying small dent, 7th Fleet spokesperson, Cmdr. Clay Doss, told USNI News.
The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is loaded aboard the heavy lift transport MV Treasure.
John S. McCain is being transported from Singapore to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, where the destroyer will be repaired following its collision with a tanker off Singapore on August 21. The loading took place October 6 in the waters off Singapore.
AIS showed the MV Treasure anchored in Subic Bay as of Monday.
“Once pier side, experts will inspect the crack and determine if any additional repairs are needed before continuing to Yokosuka,” Doss said.
The crack developed as the vessels ran into heavy weather from Typhoon Lan.
“MV Treasure had already slowed because of the storm, and pulling in allows inspection of the small crack while the weather improves,” Doss added.
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 received initial repairs at Changi Naval Base in Singapore.
Unlike the damaged USS Fitzgerald, which will transported back to the United States for repairs, the U.S. Navy decided to repair John S. McCain at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan.
“Damage assessments conducted while the ship was moored in Singapore since the Aug. 21 collision revealed the scope of work could be completed in Japan at the lowest estimated cost and returns the ship to full service at the earliest opportunity,” the Navy said in a statement on October 4.
It’s unclear if the crack will impact the Navy’s plans for repairing the destroyer.
An investigation is underway to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.
More photos of the MV Treasure and John S. McCain are below: