At least 10 missing after USS John S McCain collides with oil tanker east of Singapore

The USS John S. McCain conducts a patrol in the South China Sea, Jan. 22, 2017, while supporting security efforts in the region. (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class James Vazquez)

Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of the Strait of Malacca Sunday, according to a press release from the US Navy's 7th Fleet.

There are at least 10 sailors missing and five injured.

Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Republic of Singapore Navy Puma helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries.

The fifth injured sailor does not require further medical attention.

Republic of Singapore Navy ships, USS America helicopters and Singaporean police vessels are in the area to assist in search and rescue.

Malaysia's navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin tweeted that two Malaysian naval ships were also deployed to help look for the missing U.S. sailors.

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow body of water between Malaysia to the northeast and Indonesia to the southwest.

At this point, no fuel or oil is visible on the water's surface near the ship.

The collision was reported while the ship was making a "routine port visit" to Singapore.

The ship is now sailing on its own power to Changi Naval Base.

At 600 feet long and with a gross tonnage of 30,000 pounds, the merchant vessel -- an oil tanker flying a Liberian flag -- is a force to contend with.

The McCain was commissioned in 1994 and has a crew of 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors, according the Navy's website.

The destroyer is named for the grandfather and father of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, both of whom served in the navy as admirals.

The collison comes less than a week after officers aboard the USS Fitzgerald -- also a part of the 7th fleet -- were relieved of their duties following that ship's June crash near Japan and the resulting death of seven sailors.

Recently, the USS John S. McCain sailed near the contested South China Sea man-made islands, a move which provoked China's "strong dissatisfaction," Fox News reports.

Family members of those onboard can call the international number 011-81-46-816-1728 for more information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off