US navy recovers remains of all missing sailors from USS McCain collision

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 28.08.2017 10:07
Updated 28.08.2017 11:12
In this Aug. 22, 2017 file photo, the damaged port aft hull of USS John S. McCain, left, is seen while docked next to USS America at Singapore's Changi naval base in Singapore. (AP Photo)
In this Aug. 22, 2017 file photo, the damaged port aft hull of USS John S. McCain, left, is seen while docked next to USS America at Singapore's Changi naval base in Singapore. (AP Photo)

Divers have recovered the remains of all 10 sailors who went missing after the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided near Singapore last week, the U.S. Navy said Monday.

"The U.S. navy and marine corps divers have now recovered the remains of all 10 USS John S.McCain sailors," the Seventh Fleet said in a statement on its website.

Navy and Marine Corps divers had been searching in flooded compartments of the destroyer for days after the damaged ship docked in Singapore. The cause of the Aug. 21 collision is under investigation.

The crash ripped a gash in the McCain's hull, flooding crew berths and machinery and communications rooms.

The victims ranged in age from 20 to 39 years old and came from eight U.S. states.

The pre-dawn collision, the fourth major accident for the U.S. Pacific Fleet this year, has prompted a review of its operations.

The Navy has removed Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin from his post, citing "a loss of confidence in his ability to command" after the run of accidents.

Rear Admiral Phil Sawyer takes command of the fleet from Aucoin, who had been due to step down next month.

The U.S. navy has also flagged plans for temporary and staggered halts in operations across its global fleet to allow staff to focus on safety.

In a one-day operational pause last Wednesday, officers and crew of Seventh Fleet ships deployed at a facility in Yokosuka, Japan, received fresh training in risk management and communications.

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

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