USS John S McCain departs Changi Naval Base, headed for Yokosuka

USS John S McCain departs Changi Naval Base, headed for Yokosuka

John S McCain
A temporary patch has been welded to the collision site aboard USS John S McCain. (Photo: Micah Blechner/US Navy)

SINGAPORE: The USS John S McCain (DDG 56) departed Changi Naval Base on Thursday (Oct 5), six weeks after its collision with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore, the US 7th Fleet said in a statement.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer set off to meet heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure before it is transported to Yokosuka, Japan for further repair, the statement added.

"Over the next few days, John S. McCain will be towed to deep water, where the heavy lift vessel will lower itself, secure the ship on a platform and then raise back up out of the water. After the process of loading the ship is complete, Treasure will transport John S. McCain to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, where the forward deployed ship will be repaired."

During the last few weeks, the destroyer was being prepared for the journey by crew members, technicians and divers who conducted damage assessments and maintenance.

A patch was also installed over damaged sections of the hull to restore watertight integrity, the statement added.

An investigation is underway to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.

Divers recovered the remains of all 10 US sailors who went missing after the guided-missile destroyer collided with oil tanker Alnic MC as the warship headed for a routine stop in Singapore.

Singapore had coordinated a search and rescue operation after the collision, together with the United States, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The operation covered 5,524 sq km and involved more than 300 Singapore personnel, including from the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force.

Source: CNA/mn