Update 1 - Collision Of US Guided-missile Destroyer JOHN S MCCAIN And TANKER ALNIC MC In Singapore Waters

21 August 2017

Update 1 - Collision of US Guided-missile destroyer

JOHN S MCCAIN and TANKER ALNIC MC in Singapore Waters

Search and Rescue Operations still underway. Injured transferred to Singapore General Hospital


At about 0530 hours on 21 August 2017, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was notified of a collision between US guided-missile destroyer USS JOHN S MCCAIN and Liberian-flagged merchant vessel ALNIC MC in Singapore territorial waters in the Singapore Strait.


2.       Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts led by Singapore are continuing.


3.       Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) patrol vessel RSS GALLANT and Singapore Police Coast Guard’s (PCG) PH55 were on patrol in the vicinity when the incident happened, and rendered assistance. MPA activated three tugboats and a team of divers to the scene to render assistance at 0645 hours.  Upon notification by the US Navy that there were missing and injured crew members, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) immediately despatched its first Super Puma to the scene at 0739 hours. MPA deployed its command vessel at 0800 hours, while another RSN patrol vessel RSS RESILIENCE and PCG’s PH53 patrol vessel both arrived on scene at around 0900 hours. RSN’s frigate RSS INTREPID, another Super Puma and one Chinook helicopter were subsequently also deployed.


4.       In total, some 250 personnel from the various Singapore agencies were deployed on scene for the SAR operations. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) deployed one frigate, two patrol vessels, two Super Pumas and one Chinook helicopter, while the PCG deployed two patrol vessels. As of 1800 hours, five sorties have been carried out. In addition, MPA has been issuing hourly navigational broadcasts to advise passing vessels of the incident and requested them to keep a lookout for any persons in the water.


5.       Besides assets deployed by Singapore, Singapore accepted an offer of assistance from the Indonesian authorities who deployed a helicopter to search the northern coast line of Bintan island, Indonesia. The US also deployed their own assets to take part in the ongoing SAR efforts.


6.       One of the RSAF Super Pumas transferred four of the injured from the vessel at sea to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). The fifth was brought via an ambulance to the same hospital after the USS JOHN S MCCAIN berthed at Changi Naval Base (CNB).


7.       USS JOHN S MCCAIN is currently berthed at CNB and ALNIC MC is now at Singapore’s eastern anchorage for inspections.


8.       As at 2030 hours, SAR operations are still underway to locate the 10 crew who are unaccounted for. Efforts will continue through the night at sea with Republic of Singapore Navy and PCG vessels deployed, even as the US investigates the damaged interior of USS JOHN S MCCAIN.


9.       “Our thoughts are with the injured and families of the US Navy crew who are currently still missing following the incident in Singapore territorial waters.  The Singapore authorities will spare no effort to try to find them, and render all possible assistance to our US friends,” said Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA. 


10.     MPA is investigating the incident.