Singapore-led safety investigation underway into USS John S McCain collision

Singapore-led safety investigation underway into USS John S McCain collision

The damaged USS John McCain is docked at Changi Naval Base in Singapore August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Calvin Wong

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) launched a marine safety investigation following the collision of the USS John S McCain and Liberian-flagged oil tanker Alnic MC on Aug 21. 

A TSIB spokesperson said on Thursday (Aug 31) that the investigation was launched immediately after the collision, and the probe was being conducted in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s Casualty Investigation Code in Singapore’s capacity as a coastal state.

"The US Coast Guard, on behalf of the US National Transportation Safety Board, and the Liberian Maritime Administration are participating in Singapore’s safety investigation as Substantially Interested States," the spokesperson said. 

To date, investigators have interviewed the crew members of the Alnic, while TSIB has been coordinating with the US Coast Guard to gather relevant information on the US guided-missile destroyer, including statements of account from its crew. 

TISB has also obtained shipboard data from the Alnic and other ships in the vicinity at the time of the collision to support the Singapore-led safety investigation, the spokesperson said.

It will publish its findings when the investigation is completed, the spokesperson added.

On Monday, a week after the incident took place, the US Navy said that divers recovered the remains of all 10 missing sailors.

The collision was the fourth major accident in the US Pacific fleet this year. It prompted a fleet-wide investigation and plans for temporary halts in operations to focus on safety.

Source: CNA/kk