Sailors' Bodies Found After Oil Tanker, Destroyer Crash

Joseph Aucoin

Joseph Aucoin

Swift said the Malaysian navy had reported locating other potential remains and was working to confirm the identities. The US Navy and Marine Corps divers are searching for 10 sailors.

US Navy 7th Fleet said Tuesday morning that the search for 10 sailors assigned to the ship was ongoing.

Swift said the McCain had suffered "significant damage" to its port side aft.

The collision east of Singapore between the guided-missile destroyer and the 183-meter (600-foot) Alnic MC was the second involving a ship from the Navy's 7th fleet in the Pacific in two months.

Malaysia and Singapore are assisting in the search for the missing USA seamen. Seven sailors were trapped in their berthing compartment in the process, and all drowned. On May 9, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain was struck by a small fishing boat off the Korean Peninsula.

"We are not letting this deployment eat away at our material readiness", said Cmdr.

The family says they are remaining hopeful, and are awaiting more news from the U.S. Navy.

Richardson said the Navy is in an operational pause in the Pacific that he doesn't envision lasting long.

Naval analysts said the accidents might be a sign of crew fatigue among the US Navy in the Pacific, as it seeks to combat Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

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The Navy has ordered an "operational pause", which Mr Blaxland said makes sense "to explore what on Earth is happening".

Although the incident did not result in any injuries, the ship spilled up to 1,100 gallons of hydraulic oil into the water off the coast of Japan, prompting environmental concerns.

He said it was "quite extraordinary" for the McCain to be "up and running as an operational ship nearly immediately after the collision".

But Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, praised the surviving crew for saving the ship and saving lives.

Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon Monday that the possibility of cyber sabotage would be explored, though there were no indications the McCain collision was intentional. The commanding officers of both ships were relieved from their duties.

An investigation by the Navy later found that the Porter lost focus on her course, and that her commander did not order the ship to turn fast enough.

He said he had heard some reports speculating that the Navy could have been a victim of a cyberattack.

"The U.S. Navy, which likes to claim its presence can help safeguard "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea, is proving to be an increasing hindrance to ships sailing in Asian waters", the newspaper said in an unsigned editorial.