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US Navy Recovers Body of Second Missing Sailor After Collision

  • VOA News

FILE - damage is visible as the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain steers towards Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC.

The U.S. Navy says divers have recovered a second body from the USS John S. McCain, the naval ship that collided with a merchant vessel earlier this week.

In a statement released Friday, the Navy identified the sailor as 26-year old Dustin Louis Doyon, from Connecticut. Divers found the body of 22-year old Kenneth Aaron Smith of New Jersey on Thursday.

Eight sailors remain missing following Monday's collision with the Liberian-flagged tanker Alnic MC in waters near Malaysia and Singapore.

The Navy said more divers and equipment arrived overnight to continue search and recovery operations inside flooded compartments of the ship. Search and rescue efforts were suspended Thursday to focus on the recovery operations.

"After more than 80 hours of multi-national search efforts, the U.S. Navy suspended search and rescue efforts for missing USS John S. McCain sailors in an approximately 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore," the U.S. Seventh Fleet said on its website.

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

On Wednesday, Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin was removed from his post, citing "loss of confidence in his ability to command."

In a June collision involving a U.S. destroyer, seven sailors from the USS Fitzgerald died when their ship hit a container ship in waters off Japan.The Navy relieved the ship’s captain of his command, and further punitive actions are expected following an inquiry that found poor seamanship and flaws in keeping watch contributed to the collision.

The USS McCain is named for the father and grandfather of U.S. Senator John McCain, both of them four-star Navy admirals.The senator also was a naval officer, an aviator who spent six years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

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