SINGAPORE (AP) — The U.S. Navy says a multinational search has been suspended in the ocean near Singapore for sailors still missing from a collision between a destroyer and an oil tanker, and that it has identified the remains of one victim.
The 7th Fleet said divers will continue to search flooded compartments inside the ship, where some remains have been found. The Navy has not provided specifics.
Divers recovered the remains of one man, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, who the Navy listed as being from New Jersey. His mother said the 22-year-old grew up in Novi, Michigan, and moved to Norfolk, Virginia, as a teenager with his father.
The military says five sailors were injured and 10 were missing following Monday’s collision as the USS John S. McCain was heading to Singapore for a routine port call. The Navy says missing soldiers were from Missouri, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, New York, Connecticut and Illinois. The collision tore a hole in the ship’s left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments, including crew berths and machinery and communication rooms.
The commander of the 7th Fleet was relieved of duty Wednesday following the collision and other accidents this year that raised questions about its operations in the Pacific. Seven sailors died in June when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off Japan. Two lesser-known incidents occurred earlier in the year.