SINGAPORE – (August 24, 2017) A team of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers continue their search and survey operations Aug 24, in support of USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).
The combined dive team is assisting with search and rescue efforts to locate missing Sailors while assessing the damage to the ship following the John S. McCain’s collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. The ship is currently moored at Changi Naval Base.
“The dive team is surveying the interior and exterior of the ship, seeking to help locate the missing Sailors and inspect damages in order to help develop a plan for repairs,” said Master Chief Joshua Dumke, master diver, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific. “The diving operations will enable us to get a clear picture of the situation and help to bring closure to those affected by this tragedy.”
The 1st platoon of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Force Reconnaissance Detachment, embarked on USS America (LHA 6), is contributing to the team with eight Marines and three Sailors who are qualified to scuba dive and are graduates of the Marine Combatant Diver School.
The Marine divers have been assisting the team topside by relaying messages, staging dive gear and assisting divers with pre-dive inspections.
The divers on scene said their efforts are driven by a strong desire to assist their fellow service members, while helping to make the first step toward assessment and repairs of the ship.
“We are ready to help wherever we can,” said Capt. Francisco Garza, 1st platoon commander.
The combined Navy and Marine Corps dive team consists of members from COMLOGWESTPAC/CTF 73, Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Sasebo and SRF Yokosuka, with support from Bravo Company 1st Platoon 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).