U.S. Forces Japan commander's Statement on the USS John S McCain
By USFJ Public Affairs
| Aug. 21, 2017
SOUTH CHINA SEA -- The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21.
There are currently 10 Sailors missing and five injured. Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Republic of Singapore Navy Puma helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured sailor does not require further medical attention.
Lt. Gen. Jerry P. Martinez, commander of U.S. Forces, Japan, expressed his appreciation for the quick response of the Singaporean government to the collision.
"My thoughts are with the missing and injured Sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain and their families. I am grateful to the Republic of Singapore Navy, the Police Coast Guard, and civil authorities for their immediate and professional assistance to the McCain and the merchant vessel involved in the collision."
The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore.
The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to Changi Naval Base. At this point, no fuel or oil is visible on the water's surface near the ship.
Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities. In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, RSN Fearless-class patrol ships RSS Gallant (97), RSS Resilience (82), RSN helicopters and Singaporean Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are currently in the area to render assistance.
An MH-60S helicopter from the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) is in the area providing search and rescue assistance. An additional MH-60S helicopter and MV-22 Osprey are expected to arrive soon.
Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.
Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. Damage control efforts continue while the extent of damage is being determined. The incident will be investigated.