USS John S McCain collision: Remains of all 10 missing sailors recovered

USS John S McCain collision: Remains of all 10 missing sailors recovered

The 10 sailors who died in the USS John S McCain collision (clockwise from top left): Charles Nathan Findley, Abraham Lopez, Kevin Sayer Bushell, Jacob Daniel Drake, Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr, Corey George Ingram, Dustin Louis Doyon, John Henry Hoagland III, Logan Stephen Palmer and Kenneth Aaron Smith.

SINGAPORE: Divers have recovered the remains of all 10 US sailors who went missing after the USS John S McCain and an oil tanker collided off Singapore, the US Navy said on Monday (Aug 28).

The remaining eight sailors were retrieved by divers searching flooded compartments of the USS John S McCain, it said, after the discovery of two bodies was announced last week.

The sailors were aged between 20 and 39.

They have been identified as:

  • Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Amazonia, Missouri
  • Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr, 23, from Manchester, Maryland
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Suffield, Connecticut
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Killeen, Texas
  • Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Illinois 
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class, Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

The guided-missile destroyer collided with oil tanker Alnic MC as the warship headed for a routine stop in Singapore last Monday, leaving a gaping hole in the vessel's hull and flooding it with water.

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.

"The incident is under investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision," Monday's statement said.

SINGAPORE ENDS RECOVERY EFFORTS

With the US Navy's announcement, Singapore said it has ended its recovery efforts on the USS John S McCain.

Singapore had coordinated a search and rescue operation after the collision, together with the United States, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia. The operation covered 5,524 sq km and involved more than 300 Singapore personnel, including from the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force.

The Singapore-led operation was suspended last Thursday after the US Navy announced its suspension of search and rescue efforts to focus on recovery, although it continued to support the US Navy in the search on the vessel at Changi Naval Base.

“On behalf of all agencies involved in this search and rescue operation, MPA expresses our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased US Navy crew,” MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said in a statement. “We hope they will find the strength to overcome this difficult time.”

"In this tragic incident, we take some comfort that the bodies of all ten sailors who passed away on USS John S McCain were recovered," Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon.

"We hope and pray that this final closure will help their bereaved families through this difficult period. May their souls rest in peace." 


Source: CNA/AFP/cy