Navy finds some sailors' remains in flooded USS John S. McCain

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Updated Aug. 22, 2017 at 8:02 AM
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Aug. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Pacific Command on Tuesday said the remains of some of the American sailors missing from the USS John S. McCain have been found -- a day after the warship collided with a merchant vessel off Singapore's coast.

U.S. Navy Adm. Scott Swift said "some" sailors were found by military divers who searched flooded compartments of the ship at Singapore's Changi Naval Base early Tuesday.

Swift also said the Malaysian Navy has located "potential" remains.

Ten sailors went missing following Monday's collision.

Aircraft from the USS America, which is helping crew from the damaged ship, also continue to search for the sailors in waters east of the Straits of Malacca following the incident on Monday when the 505-foot U.S. guided-missile destroyer and the Alnic MC Liberian-flagged oil and chemical tanker collided.

"While both ships are in Singapore, America is providing messing and berthing services to John S. McCain crew members and supporting damage control efforts on board which are focused on dewatering the ship and restoring auxiliary systems," the U.S. Navy said in a statement. "Ship Repair Facility divers have commenced assessments of the hull as well."

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson on Monday announced the Navy will review all recent incidents in the Pacific -- an "operational pause" across the fleet and an evaluation of training and certification of forces near Japan.

"Our primary concern at this point is the safety of the crew and ship," Richardson said. "I am also directing a comprehensive review into all potential factors contributing to these incidents."

The Navy said a full investigation will be carried out to determine the circumstances of the collision.

A U.S. Navy official said the warship had a steering failure as it began to approach the Strait of Malacca, adding that it was unclear why crew could not use the ship's backup steering systems to maintain control.

Richardson said there was a "possibility of cyber intrusion or sabotage," adding that while there was "no indications right now" that a "review will consider all possibilities."

The collision marks the second time in two months that a U.S. warship has collided with another ship in the Pacific Ocean near Asia. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship near Japan, killing seven sailors on the ship's crew.

The USS John S. McCain is named after both the father and grandfather of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who were former admirals in the U.S. Navy.

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