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US Navy destroyer collides with Oil Tanker off the coast of Singapore (updating)

US Navy destroyer collides with Oil Tanker off the coast of Singapore (updating)

US Navy destroyer collides with Oil Tanker off the coast of Singapore (updating)

By Lahiru Fernando

21 Aug, 2017 | 10:38 am

Ten sailors are reported missing and five injured following a collision between the US guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain and Alnic MC Oil Tanker off the coast of Singapore, says US Navy.

The warship has “sustained damage to her port side aft” in the collision, east of the straits of Malacca and Singapore. USS John McCain was preparing to port in Singapore when it struck the Liberian-flagged tanker.

However, the Destroyer is sailing under its own power and heading to Singapore’s port.


Meanwhile the search and rescue efforts for the missing sailors are underway. US military helicopters as well as the Singapore navy and coast guard are conducting search and rescue efforts.

USS John S McCain

USS John S. McCain was commissioned on July 2, 1994.

Mrs. Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona Senator John McCain, served as the ship’s sponsor.

DDG 56 is named in honor of Admiral John S. McCain (1884-1945), the distinguished World War II carrier task force commander, and his son, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. (1911-1981), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command. The Admirals were the grandfather and father to Senator McCain.

November 10, 1994 – USS John S. McCain departed Pearl Harbor for its maiden deployment as part of Middle East Force 95-4.

‘The tanker’

Only a handful of details are available on the status of the Alnic MC oil tanker and its crew.

Tracking website MarineTraffic last recorded the tanker’s position several kilometres off eastern coast of the Malaysian state of Johor, about 90 minutes after the incident.


The tanker has a gross tonnage of 30,000, about three times that of USS John McCain and one report suggested it was “ballasting”.

‘Ballasting’ means the tanker was not loaded with oil for cargo.

This incident is also the second serious collision involving a US Navy ship in recent months.

When in June…

In June 2017, seven US sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship in Japanese waters near the port city of Yokosuka.


The deceased sailors were found in flooded berths on board the ship following the collision which caused a gash under the warship’s waterline.

Container ship which hit the USS Fitzgerald

Container ship which hit the USS Fitzgerald

USS Fitzgerald

USS Fitzgerald damage

According to US Navy, around a dozen sailors would be disciplined, and the commanding officer and other senior crew would be taken off the ship.

Also, maritime rules say that vessels are supposed to give way to ships on their starboard side.