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Sea Platforms

Malaysia transfers body of possible USS John S McCain crew member to US Navy

22 August 2017

Key Points

  • A number of bodies have been found onboard the stricken Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that was involved in the Singapore Strait collision
  • Discovery of another body in the sea off Johor dims hopes of finding more survivors, even as search-and-rescue operations continue

Part of damages sustained by USS 
        <I>John S McCain</I>
         from its collision in the Singapore Strait on 21 August (Royal Malaysian Navy)Part of damages sustained by USS <I>John S McCain</I> from its collision in the Singapore Strait on 21 August (Royal Malaysian Navy)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has handed over the body of what is believed to be a USS John S McCain (56) crew member to the US Navy (USN), as search-and-rescue (SAR) operations carry on into its third day.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer collided with a 183 m Liberian-registered oil and chemical tanker near Singapore on 21 August, leaving five sailors injured while another 10 have been reported missing. The USN will now work to establish the identity of the body, which was found by an RMN vessel approximately 4 n miles off Tanjung Penawar on 22 August, the service has said.

Meanwhile, John S McCain is currently moored at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base. Divers from the USN and the US Marine Corps (USMC) are continuing to access sealed compartments located in damaged parts of the ship to search for the missing crew members and conduct damage assessment, said the USN.

“The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search today,” said Admiral Scott Swift, commander US Pacific Fleet, during a media conference in the evening of 22 August at the naval base. He has, however, not given details on how many bodies have been discovered onboard the destroyer so far.

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