Update 5 - Collision of US Guided-missile Destroyer USS JOHN S MCCAIN and Tanker ALNIC MC in Singapore Waters

Singapore ceased recovery operations after all 10 missing US Navy crew are accounted for

28 August 2017

1. With the announcement by the US Navy that all 10 missing crew had been recovered from within USS JOHN S MCCAIN, recovery efforts on the vessel have ceased.

2. Following the collision between USS JOHN S MCCAIN and ALNIC MC in Singapore waters on 21 August 2017, Singapore co-ordinated a search and rescue operation with the United States, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia which covered 5524 km2 and involved more than 300 personnel from Singapore agencies including the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). The Singapore-led search and rescue operation was suspended at 2100 hours on 24 August after the US Navy announced its suspension of search and rescue efforts to focus on recovery on USS JOHN S MCCAIN. Singapore continued to support the US Navy in their search on the vessel at Changi Naval Base until all missing crew were accounted for.

3. Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, "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. We hope they will find the strength to overcome this difficult time."


Update 4 - Collision of US Guided-missile Destroyer USS JOHN S MCCAIN and Tanker ALNIC MC in Singapore Waters

Search and rescue operations suspended, recovery efforts to focus on US vessel

24 August 2017

1. With the announcement by the US Navy to focus on search and recovery efforts on USS JOHN S MCCAIN for the missing sailors, Singapore has decided to suspend the multi-agency search and rescue operation from 2100 hrs on 24 August 2017. Singapore will continue to support the US Navy in their search on USS JOHN S MCCAIN.

2. The Singapore-coordinated search and rescue efforts with the US, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia covered 5524 km2 and involved more than 300 personnel from various Singapore agencies over the past four days.

3. Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said, “As the co-ordinating agency for the four-day search and rescue efforts, MPA thanks all personnel from participating nations who worked tirelessly with the Singapore agencies to assist the US Navy. We would like to express our condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased US Navy crew, and wish the injured crew speedy recovery.”


Update 3 - Collision of US Guided-missile Destroyer USS JOHN S MCCAIN and Tanker ALNIC MC in Singapore Waters

Search and rescue operations continue with expanded search area

23 August 2017

1. Multi-agency search and rescue (SAR) efforts led by Singapore continued today to locate the remaining unaccounted crew of USS JOHN S MCCAIN which was involved in a collision with tanker ALNIC MC in Singapore waters on 21 August 2017.

2. Today, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) patrol vessels RSS FREEDOM and RSS FEARLESS were deployed. Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) also deployed two vessels. To cover a wider search area, Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) deployed one Fokker 50 and one C-130, and had one Super Puma on standby. Australia joined today’s operation with a P3 aircraft. Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), as the co-ordinating agency for the SAR efforts, has a craft on scene.

3. The search area covered by the Singapore-led SAR efforts was further expanded to 5524 km2 today from 2620 km2 yesterday. In the coordinated search efforts with the US, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, Singapore and the US are covering the Central sector of the search area. Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia are covering the North-west, North-east and Southern sectors respectively. Please refer to Annex 1.

4. The US Navy and Marine Corps divers located some remains when they accessed sealed compartments in the damaged parts of the ship during their search operations yesterday. Diving operations in the US vessel are currently still ongoing.

5. In total, more than 300 personnel from Singapore were deployed for this operation. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed four patrol vessels, three fast craft, one frigate, three Super Pumas, two Chinooks, two C-130 and three Fokker 50 while PCG deployed four patrol craft. MPA deployed two craft, three tugboats and a team of divers. 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.

Annex 1 — Search Area




Update 2 - Collision of US Guided-missile Destroyer USS JOHN S MCCAIN and Tanker ALNIC MC in Singapore Waters

Search and Rescue operations continued today with expanded search area

22 August 2017

1. Multi-agency Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts led by Singapore continued today to locate the 10 unaccounted crew of USS JOHN S MCCAIN which was involved in a collision with tanker ALNIC MC in Singapore waters on 21 August 2017.

2. Today, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) patrol vessels RSS GALLANT and RSS FEARLESS were deployed. Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) also deployed two vessels. To cover a wider search area, Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) deployed one Fokker 50 and one C-130, and had one Super Puma on standby. Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), as the co-ordinating agency for the SAR efforts, has a craft on scene.

3. The search efforts are being coordinated with US, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. Singapore yesterday accepted an offer of assistance from Indonesia to search the northern coast line of Bintan island, and accepted Malaysia’s offer today to send four aircraft to join the expanded search area, including along Malaysia’s coast line. Indonesia has increased its deployment to two aircraft and three vessels. Australia has offered Singapore as the SAR lead, fixed wing assets to join the search. The US Navy also deployed assets from USS AMERICA. Diving operations by US Navy to access sealed compartments located in damaged parts of the ship are ongoing.

4. The search area covered by the Singapore-led SAR efforts has been expanded to cover 2620 km2, with Singapore and the US covering the centre of the identified search area while Malaysian and Indonesian assets are covering the north and south. Please refer to Annex 1.

5. In total, so far, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed three patrol vessels, three fast craft, one frigate, two Super Pumas, one Chinook, one C-130 and one Fokker 50 while PCG deployed four patrol craft. MPA deployed two craft, three tugboats and a team of divers. In addition, MPA has been issuing hourly navigational broadcasts to advise passing vessels of the incident and to request them to keep a lookout for any persons in the water.

6. USS JOHN S MCCAIN remains berthed at Changi Naval Base and ALNIC MC is now at Singapore’s eastern anchorage for inspections.


Collision of US Guided-missile destroyer JOHN MCCAIN and TANKER ALNIC MC in Singapore Waters

10 unaccounted for, five injured. No oil pollution reported; Traffic in Singapore Strait is unaffected

21 August 2017

At about 0530 hrs on 21 August 2017, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was notified of a collision between a US guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain with Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC in Singapore territorial waters in the Singapore Strait.

USS JOHN MCCAIN sustained damage to her port side and requested for tug assistance. ALNIC MC sustained damage to her Fore Peak Tank 7m above the waterline, with no crew injuries. The United States Navy reported 10 crew unaccounted for and five injured.

Singapore is leading the Search and Rescue operations, and relevant Singapore agencies are rendering all possible assistance. RSAF helicopters have transferred the injured from USS JOHN MCCAIN to Singapore for medical attention. MPA has sent three tugboats to assist. Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) have also deployed a total of four vessels on scene to render assistance.

USS JOHN MCCAIN and ALNIC MC are currently on their way to Singapore to assess their damage.

There is no report of oil pollution and traffic in the Singapore Strait is unaffected. MPA is investigating the incident.

About the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was established on 2 February 1996, with the mission to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre (IMC), and to advance and safeguard Singapore's strategic maritime interests. MPA is the driving force behind Singapore's port and maritime development, taking on the roles of Port Authority, Port Regulator, Port Planner, IMC Champion, and National Maritime Representative. MPA partners the industry and other agencies to enhance safety, security and environmental protection in our port waters, facilitate port operations and growth, expand the cluster of maritime ancillary services, and promote maritime R&D and manpower development.

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore press release

A close-up of the damage done to the USS John S McCain, after a collision with the tanker Alnic MC, on Aug 21, 2017. Picture by Desmond Foo.


Tanker "ALNIC MC"