SOUTH CHINA SEA (WCSC) - The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision on Sunday with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, according to officials with U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs.
There are ten sailors missing and five injured, officials say.
Four of the injured sailors were medically evacuated by a Singapore Armed Forces Puma helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries, officials say. The fifth injured sailor did not require further medical attention.
The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore.
Assault ship USS America was in route to Changi Naval Base to help guide USS John S. McCain. While in Singapore, USS America will provide messing and berthing services to USS John S. McCain crew members and to support damage control efforts on board. USS America will also support ongoing searches for the missing sailors.
Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined.
Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms, officials said. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding.
Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities. In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, the Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Gallant (97), RSN helicopters and Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are currently in the area to render assistance, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs.
An Emergency Family Assistance Center has been established for family members. The phone numbers are (315) 243-1728 for on base and 011-81-46-816-1728 for international calls.
The incident will be investigated to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.
This is a developing story. Check back for details.