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One Body, “Some Remains” Found In Search For 10 Missing Sailors From USS John S. McCain

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

One day after the US Navy announced it was placing global operations and patrols on temporary hold as it investigates the cause for the second deadly warship crash in two months, Navy and Marine Corps divers searched on Tuesday for 10 sailors missing from the USS John S. McCain which collided with a merchant ship near Singapore. According to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet Commander, at least one body and other unidentified remains have been found as the search so far. 

"We have discovered other bodies during the diving on the McCain today,” Admiral Swift said at a news conference, held within sight of the damaged ship. “But it is premature to say how many or what the status of the recovery of those bodies is."

As the WSJ reports, Malaysian search teams had reported one body found in the waters off the coast of Malaysia and east of Singapore, where the McCain collided with a civilian tanker early Monday. U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers had located other remains inside sealed compartments of the vessel, Adm. Scott Swift said at a press conference in Singapore.  Swift said the Navy was seeking possession of the body found by Malaysian search-and-rescue teams and was in the process of trying to identify the remains inside the McCain. He said search operations would continue until the chances of finding any remaining sailors was exhausted. “That remains our focus,” he said.

Swift declined to comment on the potential causes of the collision with the tanker, saying an investigation is still “in its earliest stages.”

At his news conference Tuesday, Admiral Swift discounted suggestions that the crew of the McCain had been overworked or underprepared. He also said there were no signs of failure in the ship’s steering system or of a cyberattack, two possibilities that have been mentioned in news reports.

He said the Navy hadn’t seen any indications of attempts to interfere with the ship through cyberattacks, but the investigation would consider all options.

“We are not taking any considerations off the table and every scenario will be reviewed and investigated in detail,” he said.

The admiral, who oversees 60% of the U.S. Naval global deployment, said exhaustion didn’t appear to be a problem for the McCain crew, but the investigation would determine whether negligence had occurred. He said the Navy didn’t have concerns about its readiness and capability despite recent incidents involving four of its ships.

“I was on the McCain this morning looking at the eyes of those sailors,” he said. “I didn’t see exhaustion”

As previously reported, the guided-missile destroyer had a hole torn open below the waterline on the left side in a collision with the oil-and-chemical tanker Alnic MC. The warship made it to Singapore’s Changi Naval Base under its own power, escorted by a Singaporean navy vessel. The Alnic, a much larger ship, suffered relatively minor damage.

In Malaysia, Zulkifli Abu Bakar, the director general of the Maritime Enforcement Agency, said the collision had occurred in the country’s waters, at the highly congested entrance to the Singapore and Malacca Straits. Quoted by the NYT, he said 80,000 ships a year pass through the area. “It is in our waters, so we are leading the S.A.R. operations,” he said Monday, using an abbreviation for search and rescue. But he said any territorial dispute was secondary to the search effort. “We do not want to have another collision,” he said. “For the time being, I don’t think we should argue about whose waters, because I think the most important thing is to focus on the search and rescue effort.”


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