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Greek Shipping Company confirms collision with USS JOHN S MCCAIN

Greek shipping company Stealth Maritime Corporation confirmed Monday afternoon the collision of one of its oil tankers, ALNIC MC, with Missile destroyer, US Navy vessel USS JOHN S MCCAIN off the coast of Singapore in the early morning.

In a statement uploaded on its website, the company said:

Stealth Maritime Corporation can confirm that its managed tanker vessel the ALNIC MC (IMO: 9396725 Liberian Flag) was involved in a collision with the US Navy vessel USS JOHN S MCCAIN off the coast of Singapore at 05:20 Singapore Time on 21st August, 2017.

As a result of the collision ALNIC MC sustained damage to her Fore Peak Tank, there were no injuries to crew and no reported pollution of the Singapore Strait. The vessel is now transiting to safe anchorage to be further assessed.

Stealth Maritime Corporation is cooperating fully with the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in its investigations as well as other responding agencies.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the missing US Navy sailors and we hope the injured personnel make a speedy and full recovery.

Further information will follow as it becomes available.

According to media information, there were no Greeks on ALNIC MC.

Stealth Maritime Corporation S.A. operates as a shipping company in Greece. It owns and operates aframaxes, product tankers, and LPGs, as well as a stainless steel chemical tanker. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in Kifissia, Greece.

10 US Navy sailors missing, 5 injured

In its latest report from the region, the Associated Press writes that vessels from several nations are searching Southeast Asian waters for 10 missing U.S. sailors after an early morning collision Monday between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker ripped a gaping hole in the destroyer’s hull.

The collision east of Singapore between the guided missile destroyer and the 183-meter (600-foot) Alnic MC was the second involving a ship from the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months.

Vessels and aircraft from the U.S., Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are searching for the missing sailors.

Four other sailors were evacuated by a Singaporean navy helicopter to a hospital in the city-state for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, the Navy said. A fifth was taken to the hospital by ambulance after the destroyer arrived in Singapore under its own power, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said.

The McCain had been heading to Singapore on a routine port visit after conducting a sensitive freedom-of-navigation operation last week by sailing near one of China’s man-made islands in the South China Sea.

The Navy’s 7th Fleet said “significant damage” to the McCain’s hull resulted in the flooding of adjacent compartments including crew berths, machinery and communications rooms. A damage control response prevented further flooding, it said.

The destroyer was damaged on its port side aft, or left rear, in the 5:24 a.m. collision about 4.5 nautical miles (8.3 kilometers) from Malaysia’s coast but was able to sail on to Singapore’s naval base.

A photo tweeted by Malaysian navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin showed a large rupture in the McCain’s side near the waterline. Janes, a defense industry publication, estimated the hull breach was 3 meters (10 feet) wide.

Another U.S. naval vessel, the amphibious assault ship USS America, arrived in Singapore and was helping with damage control efforts on the McCain and with the search for the missing sailors, the Navy’s 7th Fleet said. It also will feed and house sailors from the stricken ship.

One of the injured sailors, Operations Specialist 2nd Class Navin Ramdhun, posted a Facebook message telling family and friends he was OK and awaiting surgery for an arm injury.

He told The Associated Press in a message that he couldn’t say what happened. “I was actually sleeping at that time. Not entirely sure.”

The Singapore government said no crew were injured on the Liberian-flagged Alnic, which sustained damage to a compartment at the front of the ship some 7 meters (23 feet) above its waterline. There were no reports of a chemical or oil spill.

Singapore sent tugboats and naval and coast guard vessels to search for the missing sailors and Indonesia said it sent two warships. Malaysia said three ships and five boats as well as aircraft from its navy and air force were helping with the search, and the USS America deployed Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters. The Navy was also searching the McCain’s damaged interior.

There was no immediate explanation for the collision, and the Navy said an investigation would be conducted.

The collision was the second involving a ship from the Navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in waters off Japan.

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