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Sea search for missing US warship sailors suspended

Sea search for missing US warship sailors suspended

Sea search for missing US warship sailors suspended
24 August 2017 - 20:00 - Update: 25 August 2017 - 21:09


Singapore (AFP) - An international search at sea for American sailors missing after their warship collided with a tanker off Singapore was suspended Thursday, with divers set to continue recovery efforts inside the destroyer, the US Navy said. Remains found in a flooded compartment of the USS John S. McCain, which was left with a gaping hole in its hull, were identified as Kenneth Aaron Smith but nine other sailors remain unaccounted for. The pre-dawn collision on Monday, which also left five sailors injured, was the second such deadly accident in two months after a US destroyer collided with a cargo ship off Japan in June. There have been a total of four accidents involving American warships in the Pacific this year, sparking concerns the US Navy is overstretched as it tackles China's growing assertiveness and North Korea's nuclear ambitions. The latest accident prompted the navy to begin a global investigation and remove the commander of the Japan-headquartered Seventh Fleet, the centrepiece of the US military presence in Asia. Announcing the latest development, the Seventh Fleet said in a statement: "After more than 80 hours of multinational search efforts, the US Navy suspended search and rescue efforts for missing USS John S. McCain sailors" in a massive area at sea. US Navy divers "will continue search and recovery efforts inside flooded compartments in the ship for the missing sailors", it said. 

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