The US Navy has recovered the remains of all 10 sailors who went missing after warship USS McCain collided with a merchant vessel on 21 August. The first two bodies were recovered soon after the accident, and the remains of the other eight sailors were located subsequently, the navy said on Monday, 28 August.
The guided-missile destroyer collided with the 30,000-tonne oil tanker in the waters east of the Straits of Malacca. The damaged American warship was docked in Singapore following the crash. The cause of the collision at sea is being probed.
"The US navy and marine corps divers have now recovered the remains of all 10 USS John S McCain sailors," the US Navy's 7th fleet said in a statement. All the sailors were aged between 20 and 39.
The dead personnel were identified as Charles Nathan Findley, Abraham Lopez, Kevin Sayer Bushell, Jacob Daniel Drake, Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr, Corey George Ingram, Dustin Louis Doyon, John Henry Hoagland III, Local Stephen Palmer and Kenneth Aaron Smith.
"The incident is under investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision," said the Navy's statement on Monday. Last week the navy had announced the suspension of wider search and rescue measures.
This was the US Navy's fourth major incident involving the Pacific Fleet this year. Following the collision, a fleet-wide probe has also been initiated while the commander of the Japan-based 7th fleet has been removed from duty. The unceremonious departure of Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, a three-star admiral, was seen as an extraordinary step.
The USS John McCain was en route to Singapore after wrapping up its South China Sea operations when it collided with the oil tanker.
Coinciding with the US Navy's announcement, Singapore has also said its recovery measures have ended. "On behalf of all agencies involved in this search and rescue operation, MPA expresses our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased US Navy crew. We hope they will find the strength to overcome this difficult time," Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority said in a statement after ending the coordinated efforts with the US, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.