Ten US sailors missing after Navy destroyer and merchant ship collide near Singapore

SINGAPORE — A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship early Monday in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca, and search and rescue efforts were underway.

The Navy said five sailors were injured and 10 are reportedly missing.

The guided-missile destroye USS John S. McCain sustained damage on its port side aft, or left rear, from the collision with the Alnic MC, an oil and chemical tanker, that happened at 5:24 a.m., the Navy’s 7th Fleet said.

The Navy said Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America were assisting. It also said tugboats and Singaporean naval and coast guard vessels were in the area to render assistance.

It is the second collision involving a ship from the Navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship hit each other in waters off Japan.

The Fitzgerald’s captain was relieved of command and other sailors would be punished after the Navy found poor seamanship and flaws in keeping watch contributed to the collision, the Navy announced last week. An investigation into how and why the Fitzgerald collided with the other ship was not finished, but enough details were known to take those actions, the Navy said.

The Japan-based 7th Fleet said the McCain was heading to Singapore for a routine port visit.

The ship is based at the fleet’s homeport of Yokosuka, Japan. It was commissioned in 1994 and has a crew of 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors, according the Navy’s website.