USS John S. McCain leaves Changi Naval Base, more than 6 weeks after collision with oil tanker

USS John S. McCain is pictured at Changi Naval Base in Singapore after a temporary patch was welded to the area damaged by the collision. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain departed Changi Naval Base on Thursday (Oct 5), more than six weeks after it collided with an oil tanker in Singapore waters.

In an update, the US 7th Fleet said that the warship will meet heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure over the next few days.

The John S. McCain will be towed to deep water, where the heavy lift vessel will lower itself, secure the ship on a platform and then rise back up out of the water.

After the process of loading the ship is complete, Treasure will transport the McCain to Yokosuka, Japan, where the forward deployed ship will be repaired.

In the weeks prior to departure from Singapore, crew members, technicians and divers prepared the ship for the journey by conducting damage assessments and placing key systems in lay-up maintenance, the US Navy said.

A patch was also installed over damaged sections of the hull to restore watertight integrity, it added.

The McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC in the Singapore Strait on Aug 21.

An investigation is under way to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.

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