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Remains of All Missing Sailors Recovered after USS McCain Collision | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, in Singapore waters August 21, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Divers have recovered the remains of all 10 US sailors killed after their warship John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker off Singapore, the US Navy said Monday.

The remaining eight sailors were retrieved by divers searching flooded compartments of the guided-missile destroyer, it said, after the discovery of two bodies was announced last week.

John S. McCain collided with the Alnic MC east of Singapore as it headed for a routine stop in the city-state last Monday last week, leaving a gaping hole in the vessel’s hull and flooding it with water.

It was the second such deadly accident in two months after a US destroyer collided with a cargo ship off Japan in June, and the fourth accident involving an American warship in the Pacific this year.

The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, to which the warship belonged, said in a statement that “divers have now recovered the remains of all 10 USS John S. McCain sailors.”

The sailors were aged between 20 and 39.

“The incident is under investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision,” the statement added.

The pre-dawn collision sparked a multinational search and rescue operation by aircraft, divers and vessels off Singapore but it was called off after several days, and authorities shifted their focus to flooded parts of the ship.

The accident prompted the navy to begin a global investigation and remove the commander of the Japan-headquartered Seventh Fleet, the centerpiece of the US military presence in Asia.

The Seventh Fleet, headquartered in Japan, operates as many as 70 ships, including the US navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, and has about 140 aircraft and 20,000 sailors.