Malaysia dispatches ships and helicopter in search for sailors after US destroyer collision

The damage at the port side of USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, is estimated to be about eight to 10 metres wide.
The damage at the port side of USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, is estimated to be about eight to 10 metres wide.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Photo released by the Malaysian navy showing the damaged USS John S. McCain after the collision.
Photo released by the Malaysian navy showing the damaged USS John S. McCain after the collision.PHOTO: TWITTER/ @KPMARITIMMSIA

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Royal Malaysia Navy has dispatched ships and a helicopter to help in the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations after a US warship and a merchant vessel collided seven nautical miles off the coast of Johor.

Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said SAR operations are currently under way for 10 missing sailors.

The Navy has deployed three ships - the KD Handalan, KD Gempita, and KD Lekiu - as well as a CB 90 assault craft and SuperLynx helicopter, he told The Star.

"The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has also deployed three vessels to assist in operations, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force is also deploying aircraft," he added.

The USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, collided with the Alnic MC at 5.24am on Monday (Aug 21) east of Singapore, the US 7th Fleet reported.

Apart from the 10 missing sailors, five personnel were injured.

The accident comes two months after seven US sailors died when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship off the Japanese coast.