Navy: USS John S. McCain collides with merchant vessel

The U.S. Navy said the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel in waters east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca early Monday.

Initial reports indicated that the destroyer sustained damage to her port side aft. The Navy did not provide any information on injuries, but said search and rescue efforts were underway.

According to the Associated Press, 10 sailors are missing and five others are injured. 

The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore, the Navy said in a statement. The ship was heading to port under its own power, the Navy said.

The destroyer has played a small role in recent tensions with North Korea, carrying out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Aug. 10, when it sailed to within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, the Navy said earlier this month.

The operation came as President Trump seeks China's cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

The ship is named after John S. McCain Sr., and John S. McCain Jr., Navy admirals who were the grandfather and father, respectively, of Sen. John McCain.

Sen. McCain tweeted that he and his wife were "Keeping America's sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain in our prayers tonight — appreciate the work of search & rescue crews."

The ship's commander, Alfredo J. Sanchez, is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Commissioned in 1994, the USS John S. McCain is part of the Navy's 7th Fleet. Built at Bath Iron Works in Maine, it is part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed naval forces; its home port is Yokosuka, Japan.



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