USS John McCain collides with merchant vessel; search and rescue underway

MC tweeted by Malaysia's navy chief

The U.S Navy is working with local authorities as they conduct search and rescue efforts. Before the crash it was on its way to a routine port visit in Singapore.

'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 now in the area to render assistance.

The damage and personnel injuries are being determined.

The ship is based at the fleet's homeport of Yokosuka, Japan. John McCain. Both of McCain's relatives were US Navy admirals. The ship data showed it was "ballasting", meaning that it was not loaded full of oil for cargo.

The Malacca and Singapore straits are key chokepoints of the oil trade in Asia.

The Chinese military "immediately sent out warships" with two missile frigates identifying the USA naval destroyer and warning it away from Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, which China calls the Nansha Islands, according to China's foreign ministry.

U.S. Navy Destroyer the U.S.S. John McCain collided with a merchant vessel on Sunday in the Strait of Malacca, a shipping lane off the Malaysian coast.

"Cindy & I are keeping America's sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight - appreciate the work of search & rescue crews", McCain wrote on Twitter.

The John S. McCain is the third 7th Fleet ship to be involved in a serious accident this year.

The rescue operation involves tug boats, a helicopter and a police coast guard vessel, and United States aircraft were also responding, the navy said. After an investigation into the incident, the Navy relieved two of the ship's senior leaders last week due to inadequate leadership, while commending the crew.

The latest incident marks the fourth mishap involving US ships in the Pacific this year, Fox News reported.

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