US WARSHIP JOHN S McCAIN COLLIDES WITH OIL TANKER NEAR SINGAPORE
On August 21 the US guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain based in Yokosuka, Japan, collided with the oil tanker Alnic MC east of Singapore at around 5.30am as the warship was heading to Singapore for a routine port call. A search and rescue operation is under way for 10 US sailors. Five US sailors were injured in the collision – four were evacuated by helicopter to the Singapore General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the fifth did not need further medical attention.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is leading the search and rescue operation and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) have been mobilised after they responded to the US Navy’s request for assistance from the Republic of Singapore Navy. From the SAF, two Patrol Vessels, RSS Gallant and RSS Resilience; one Frigate, RSS Intrepid; two Super Pumas and one Chinook helicopter are assisting in the efforts. RSS Resilience was escorting USS John S McCain back to Changi Naval Base
The amphibious assault ship USS America arrived at the Naval Base and will provide messing and berthing services to McCain crew members and to support damage control efforts on board. The vessel will also support ongoing searches for 10 missing sailors, for whom a search and rescue operation was being carried out north of Pedra Branca in Singapore territorial waters.
The McCain’s hull suffered significant damage to the hull which resulted in flooding to nearby compartments.
No injuries were reported on the Alnic. The tanker was carrying 12,000 tonnes of fuel oil from Taiwan to discharge in Singapore.
It is the second collision in two months involving a US guided-missile destroyer. Early on 17 June 2017, the USS Fitzgerald collided with MV ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged container ship, about 80 nautical miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan, 10 nautical miles southeast of the city of Shimoda on the Honshu mainland.
The accident killed seven Fitzgerald sailors. Their bodies were recovered from the flooded berthing compartments of the ship. At least three more of the crew of nearly 300 were injured. (Source: Channel News Asia, The Strait Times)
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