US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said yesterday that “some remains” of the missing 10 sailors of the US destroyer John S McCain were found.
According to Swift, Navy and Marine Corps divers found the remains in the sealed compartments aboard the warship.
The Royal Malaysian Navy said in a statement that it had found a body eight nautical miles northwest of the collision site. The navy said the body had been transferred to the frigate KD Lekiu and will be handed over to the US navy on Wednesday.
US military divers continue to search the flooded areas of the McCain while ships and planes scour the seas east of Singapore.
Vessels from the Malaysian and Singapore navies as well as military aircraft from the USS America are involved in the search near one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
A Malaysian official said on Monday that the sea in the area was “quite rough,” with waves up to one meter high.
“Until we have exhausted any potential of recovering survivors or bodies, the search and rescue efforts will continue,” Swift said.
Five sailors were injured in the crash involving the guided-missile destroyer and a merchant vessel east of the Straits of Malacca on Monday. The impact tore a hole in the warship’s port side at the waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area.
Divers will be assessing the extent of damage to the warship, which is docked at a Singapore naval facility.
Monday’s collision bears a resemblance to an incident in June involving the USS Fitzgerald, which collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan and led to the deaths of seven US sailors.
In addition, the USS Lake Champlain hit a South Korean fishing boat in May, and the USS Antietam ran aground off the coast of Japan in January, bringing the number of accidents involving a US warship in Asian waters this year to four.
Earlier report: Aug 21, 10 Sailors Missing After US Warship Collides with Tanker near Singapore