Update: First photos of the damage on the USS John McCain from the collision with a tanker ship yesterday.
These are the first photos of the damage that occurred after a merchant tanker struck the ship in the early morning hours of Monday. The USS John McCain is now safely at port, and the search is underway for the 10 missing sailors on board. It has not yet been discovered if these crew members went overboard or if they are still inside the vessel.
Damage to the port side is visible as the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017. US Navy Photo
The collision occurred near the berthing section of the ship and inside sources say that the impact was so severe it flew sailors from their racks.
Accident or attack?
Tensions are continuing to degrade between the United States and North Korea and seems there may be no peaceful resolution. These Naval Destroyers are fixed with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense systems, which are capable of protecting Guam or Japan from missile attacks, should North Korea launch. With the two recent “attacks”, or collisions, this now reduces the 7’th fleet by two ships capable of missile defense in the area. It begs to question if North Korea has some sort of “bounty” on these ships for any merchant vessel who is willing to collide with them and thus put them out of commission.
It is not a far stretch to assume this is a possibility when you take into consideration this is the second incident within the year where merchant ship collides with a naval destroyer. Especially taking into account that this is in the area where tensions are continuing to rise.
If these are truly accidents, it appears someone has dropped the ball yet again. However, I think we need to pay closer attention to the situation and ask ourselves what the chances are of this occurring twice, in the same region.
Author - David Mann Title Photo Credit : The United States Navy