US Navy ship USS John S McCain collided with an oil tanker on August 21 off the coast of singapore, injuring five soldiers. Ten others remain missing following the damage sustained by the Warcraft to her port-side aft. Rescue teams from Singapore, Malaysia, and the US are searching for the missing sailors using patrol ships, helicopters, and even tug boats that have been deployed in the area.

Four out of the five injured sailors were taken by a Navy helicopter to a Singapore hospital for “non-life threatening injuries” while the fifth needed no further medical attention.

The warship itself is doing well, and has returned to Singapore’s Changi Naval Base where it was said to be due for its routine port visit.

Dangerous Waters

A Navy representative revealed that the ship’s damage included flooding in its nearby compartments, including the crew berthing, some machinery, and even the communications rooms. This incident is the second in two months that involved a ship from the US Navy’s 7th Pacific fleet. In June, seven sailors died when a container ship hit the USS Fitzgerald in Japanese waters.

The latest collision is yet another incident among the already rising tensions in the Asia Pacific region. Just recently, North Korea announced its capability to launch a nuclear strike, while China is aggressively expanding its territories in the South China Sea.

Coincidental Collisions?

David Larter, a naval warfare writer noted that ship collisions are rare, and having two in one summer from the same fleet is “stunning.” However, he noted that it is too early at this point to asses exactly what caused the collision with the McCain. The ship, which has been in service of the US Navy since the 2003 Iraq war is named after the father and grandfather of Arizona senator John McCain.

It is based in Yokosuka, Japan. and was commissioned in 1994 with a total of 338 men that included officers, chief petty officers, and enlisted sailors.

The Fitzgerald and the McCain, both of which saw collisions this summer are both ballistic missile defense (BMD) capable, and are said to be vital in the US line of defense against ballistic missile launches from the increasingly aggressive North Korea.

Politicians React

Upon his return to the White House after his “working vacation,” President Donald Trump responded to the news of the collision by saying “that’s too bad.” Senator McCain, on the other hand, tweeted that he and his wife, Cindy, were keeping the sailors affected by the collision in their prayers.