US Destroyer USS John McCain Collides With Oil Tanker in South China Sea

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Breaking story on the USS John McCain and merchant ship collision Aug 21.

Initial report:

In the early morning hours of Monday August 21’st 2017 the US Navy guided-missile destroyer “USS John McCain” collided with a merchant ship/oil tanker in the South China Sea.  According to the US Navy 7’th Fleet, the collision occurred at 6:24am Japan Standard Time, east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca.  Search and rescue missions are currently underway and the Singaporean Navy is sending assets to assist in the search.

USS John McCain

This comes just months after the 7 US Sailors of the USS Fitzjerald died in the collision of a merchant ship off the coast of Japan.  Being a prior enlisted Naval service member, myself I must say – this kind of incident really does not occur that frequently. It begs to question if there is more to these collisions than it seems.  The USS John McCain is currently sailing under it’s own power and it is headed back to port. The damage was said to have occurred at the port/aft section of the vessel. Shipboard and personnel injuries are currently being assessed.

 

Credit: “USS McCain”, © 2005 Matt Watts, Flickr | CC-BY-SA

The Merchant Ship

The ship, sailing under the Liberian flag, involved in the collision was the ALNIC MC, a 15+ ton oil / chemical tanker ship. Measuring 600 feet bow to aft and 105 feet port to starboard.  Infrared satellite weather conditions seem normal for the time of day when this occurred. Ship Tracking Websites showed the AlnicMC is currently still in the South China Sea. Data indicates that the AlnicMC was performing “Ballasting” operations and as such, is not believed to have a current load on board. The location of the incident has been cited below:

This is a breaking story, as investigations continue and news comes out, we will be sure to update this will the most up-to-date information.

 

Author -David Mann
Title Photo Credit: "140626-N-YU572-042", © 2014 Naval Surface Warriors, Flickr | CC-BY-SA
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