- Thomson Reuters
A US Navy destroyer collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Singapore on Sunday, the Navy said.
The destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, collided with the vessel Alnic MC at 5:24 a.m. local time, according to a Navy statement.
Ten sailors are missing, and five were injured, the Navy said, adding that a search-and-rescue operation was underway with the help of local authorities.
The Navy is treating the incident as an accident, according to NBC News.
The collision occurred east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca as the destroyer was heading to Singapore for a routine port visit.
The warship “sustained damage to her port side aft,” or the back-left portion of the ship, the Navy said.
According to the Navy, the Alnic MC is a 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000. It sails under the Liberian flag, according to MarineTraffic.com.
“Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway,” President Donald Trump tweeted late Sunday.
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US Sen. John McCain, whose father and grandfather are the ship’s eponym, offered his condolences in a tweet Sunday evening.
“Cindy & I are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight – appreciate the work of search & rescue crews,” McCain said.
The collision is the second such incident for the Navy in two months – the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel southwest of Japan in mid-June.
McCain had recently visited the warship in Vietnam, according to Fox News, which added that earlier this month the ship sailed past contested man-made islands in the South China Sea.