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Posted: August 27, 2017

Navy recovers remains of 10 sailors killed in USS John S. McCain crash


By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Update 9:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said on Sunday that officials have recovered the bodies of all 10 sailors killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship on Aug. 21 near Singapore.

Officials continue to investigate the collision.

Original report: The U.S. Navy on Thursday identified a sailor whose remains were found after the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship near Singapore earlier this week.

>> Read more trending news

Divers recovered the remains of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, officials said.

Nine other sailors remain missing. Navy officials identified them as:

  • Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Missouri
  • Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from Texas
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Maryland
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Ohio
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Maryland
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from New York
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Connecticut
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Texas
  • Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Illinois 

Crews searched a 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore after the Liberian-flagged Alnic MC and the USS John S. McCain collided on Monday. Five sailors were injured.

>> Related: 10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker

Divers continued Thursday to search the flooded compartments of the USS John S. McCain, although officials said the efforts had shifted from a rescue to a recovery mission.

Monday’s crash was the second major collision involving a U.S. Navy warship from the 7th Fleet in two months, according to The Navy Times. It is the fourth accident involving a naval vessel in the Pacific this year, according to The Washington Post.

Monday’s accident prompted officials to launch an investigation of the 7th Fleet. Navy Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said the Navy will take a one-day operational pause in response to the accident, to “ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world.”

>> Related: Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the commander of the 7th Fleet was dismissed in the aftermath of the crash.


Related

USS John S. McCain collision: Commander of Navy's 7th Fleet dismissed

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/AP

Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/AP

Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) steers towards Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The USS John S. McCain was docked at Singapore's naval base with "significant damage" to its hull after an early morning collision with the Alnic MC as vessels from several nations searched Monday for missing U.S. sailors. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy photo via AP)

USS John S. McCain collision: Remains found during search for missing sailors

UPDATE, 7:08 a.m. ET Tuesday: The Associated Press reports that some remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain, according to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

A number of bodies were found on the ship, and one body was found by Malaysia, the AP reported.

Read more here.

ORIGINAL STORY: The United States Navy said it will continue to investigate the collision involving the USS John S. McCain as the vessel’s damage is being assessed.

As that happens, the U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs said in a news post that search efforts are continuing for the 10 soldiers who are still missing. Five sailors are injured.

>> Read more trending news

“Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities,” it said in the post. “Royal Malaysian Navy ships KD Handalan and two coastal patrol craft Petir (12) and Pang Alang (39) as well as two Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels are on scene today. 

“Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol ships Noble Pearl (PCG 54) and Noble Knight (PCG 56) joined search efforts as well.”

Navy Adm. John Richardson has ordered a probe into the collision, The Associated Press reported.

The fleet said the guided-missile destroyer “sustained significant hull damage that resulted in flooding to nearby compartments.” 

“It is the second such incident in a very short period of time – inside of three months – and very similar as well,” Richardson said at the Pentagon Monday. “It is the last of a series of incidents in the Pacific fleet in particular and that gives great cause for concern that there is something out there we are not getting at.”

An immediate explanation for the collision was not given; however, cyber security experts speculated that the ship could have been hacked, according to a McClatchy report.

Richardson said there were “no indications right now” of “cyber intrusion or sabotage,” but the investigation would “consider all possibilities.”

In the coming weeks, the Navy said it would take a one-day pause in operations to identify any steps that may need to be taken to ensure safety.

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