On Monday, the collision between an oil tanker and guided-missile destroyer (USS John S. McCain) left five sailors injured and 10 still missing. The oil tanker was identified as the Alnic MC. The incident happened east of the Straits of Singapore and Malacca.

The United States, Malaysia, and Singapore sent rescue teams, including tug boats, helicopters, and patrol ships. The rescue teams were deployed to the area to search for the missing American sailors. The BBC reports that USS John S. McCain suffered damage to her port side aft. A photo showing the damage to the hull of the US destroyer was posted online by an official from the Malaysian navy.

Second collision involving a US destroyer

This is the second collision in just two months. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship, leaving seven sailors dead. That incident occurred in the waters off Japan.

The captain of the USS Fitzgerald was relieved of his command. In addition, the captain and some other sailors were punished for poor seamanship and were reassigned crew to shore duties.

A US Navy veteran's opinion on the incident

According to the statement released by the US Navy, USS John S McCain was on its way to Singapore ‘under its own power’ for a routine port visit. That is when the unexpected incident happened. The US destroyer accidentally collided with an oil tanker.

Four of the five injured crew were transported by a helicopter to a Singaporean hospital for medication. Fortunately, the injuries are not fatal. The fifth sailor was immediately given medical attention and did not need further treatment. No official statement has been released by US Navy concerning the missing sailors.

David Larter, a US Navy vet and naval warfare writer, was shocked at the incident.

“Collisions like these are extremely rare and two in one summer, both from 7th Fleet based in Japan, is stunning.” He added that it was far too early to tell the real cause of the collision.

The USS John S McCain served in the 2003 Iraq war, the Korean peninsula, and Japan. It is named after the father and grandfather of Senator John McCain III.

Senator McCain tweeted that he and his wife are one with the families of the sailors in their prayers.They were very talented and skilled young sailors in the fleet he added. The United States Navy has already set up an assistance center for the families and relatives of the missing sailors. Above the chapel doors at the U.S. Naval Academy, these words were inscribed: "Non sibi sed patriae." This means "Not for self, but for country."