USS John S McCain collision: USS America arrives at Changi to help search for missing sailors

USS John S McCain collision: USS America arrives at Changi to help search for missing sailors

USS America
Amphibious assault ship USS America. (Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Chad Swysgood) 

SINGAPORE: Amphibious assault ship USS America arrived at Changi Naval Base on Monday (Aug 21) to help support search operations for 10 US Navy sailors missing after the USS John S McCain collided with an oil tanker in Singapore territorial waters. 

Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities, the US Navy said in a media statement.

Singapore's Maritime Port Authority said on Monday night that search and rescue operations would continue through the night, and that Singapore authorities would spare no effort to try to find the missing crew members.

In its statement, the US Navy acknowledged search and rescue efforts by assets from Singapore as well as Malaysia.

The US Navy said that the Republic of Singapore Navy patrol ship RSS Gallant, along with an SAF Super Puma helicopter and Police Coast Guard vessels Tiger Shark and Sandbar Shark continue to provide assistance.

It added that US Navy MH-60S helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys from the USS America were supporting search operations at sea.

"SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE" TO WARSHIP HULL

USS America, which is currently moored across the pier from the USS John S McCain, will also provide messing and berthing services to the crew members of the damaged warship, the US Navy said. 

It will also support damage control efforts, the statement said. 

"Ship Repair Facility divers are on scene as well to assess the damage to the hull," the statement said. 

The USS John S McCain sustained "significant damage" to its hull, flooding nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery and communications rooms, the US Navy said.

The destroyer had collided with merchant vessel Alnic MC at around 5.30am, as it was heading to Singapore for a routine port call. 

Five US Navy sailors were injured in the incident - four of whom were evacuated by helicopter to the Singapore General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The fifth did not need further medical attention. 

No crew members on the oil tanker were injured, MPA earlier said. 

Source: CNA/dl

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