In the second collision involving a US Naval vessel and a merchant ship in Asian waters in two months, US Navy destroyer the USS John S. McCain collided with the 50,076 dwt product tanker Alnic MC at 5-24am local time in the Singapore Strait. The Alnic MC is owned Harry Vafias company Brave Maritime Corp according to VesselsValue, and managed by Energetic Tank.
The US Navy said 10 sailors were missing following the accident and five were injured. A search and rescue operation is underway and the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore said RSAF helicopters had transferred the injured to hospital.
“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. MV-22s and SH-60s from USS America are also responding,” the US Navy said.
The MPA said USS John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side and requested for tug assistance, while Alnic MC sustained damage to her fore peak tank 7m above the waterline. There were no injuries to the crew of the tanker.
The USS John S. McCain was reported to be heading to port under its own power, while the MPA said the Alnic MC was also headed to Singapore port to assess damage to the vessel.
It is the second collision involving a US Naval vessel in recent months following the collision between the US Fitzgerald and the containership ACX Crystal off Japan in Japan that left seven dead and three injured on the US warship.